To understand the career prospects of interior designer, we have to first understand that what does an interior designer do. The primary work of Interior designers is the design or renovation of internal spaces of homes, offices, commercial places like restaurants, hotels, shops, malls etc. Starting with the basics, the scope of interior designing includes layout designing, structural alterations and goes up to furnishings, fixtures and fittings, lighting and color schemes.
Besides just doing the design of the given space, the clients may hire the services of an interior designer to also combine the efficient and functional use of space with an understanding of aesthetics. This means using the natural resources like the Sun Light and Fresh Air more to reduce the use of electricity for heating, cooling and artificial light.
Career Prospects of Interior Designer
In the following lines is everything you may like to know about a career as an interior designer with relevant details. As a first step, take a look at the typical job profile of the interior designer, if you want to know further you can check out the salaries of the interior designers (in USA, UK and India) at different levels of experience. Going further, you will find the Qualifications and Skills required to become an interior designer and finally the career prospects of Interior Designers and types of interior designers.
Also at the end of this blog is a short video in Hindi with information in English which you may like to watch.
Job Responsibilities of an experienced interior designer
The interior designer may work for a firm of interior designers; firm of architects or have his own independent practice.
In any case as an interior and spatial designer, your job profile may include some of the following responsibilities:
- Business Development: searching for new projects, bidding for the projects; meeting the potential client; doing the presentation; negotiating and finalizing the deal.
- Client meetings: to understand the client’s needs and requirements for the project
- Spade work: conduct feasibility study for project; develop initial ideas often using computer-aided design (CAD) software, produce ‘sample’ or ‘mood’ boards to present to clients
- Presentations to the client
- After getting client’s approval, set project schedules and establish final briefs
- prepare design plans, specify materials and furnishings, such as lighting, furniture, wall finishes, flooring, and plumbing fixtures
- consider materials and costs according to budgets and discuss project fees with the client
- Create a timeline for the interior design project and budgets for men and material
- Survey site or building, prepare detailed drawings, designs, plans
- source materials, e.g. fittings, furniture, lighting, finishes, decoration and dressing, and provide samples for clients
- supervise work at site
- co-ordinate with the team of other designers, technicians and commercial department
- work closely with quantity surveyors to establish costs and work schedules on larger projects, with architects and other design professionals
- Visit the site after the project is complete, to ensure that the client is satisfied
- keep up to date with new developments in the design industry.
On bigger projects, interior designers have to work closely with architects, civil engineers, HVAC engineers and inspection regulations.
In US /UK / India usually a bachelor’s degree in the following subjects is a must to be a professional interior designer.
- fine art
- furniture design
- graphic design
- product design
- textile design.
The following subjects are preferred:
- 3D design
- interior architecture
- interior design
- spatial design
Without a degree in above subjects, a person can also become an Interior designer if he has passion, creative flair and solid experience. Of course a Diploma / Certificate Course shall be helpful.
Specifically talking about India, the formal degree is not necessary, though it is extremely helpful to gain an entry as well as to take the career forward. There are many well known and not so well known institutes which offer certificate / diploma and degree level courses with duration ranging from 6 months to 1 year to 2 years to 4 years. The premier institute is National School of Design (NID).
Some of the well known Bachelor’s Degree level courses related to interior design are:
- BA Interior Design – 3 years duration
- Bachelor of Architecture Interior Design – 5 years duration
- Bachelor of Interior Design – 5 years duration (CEPT course)
- BA Interior Architecture and Design – 3 years duration
- Bachelor of Design (B.Des.) Interior Design – 4 years duration
- Sc. Interior Design – 3 years duration
There are many institutes in India which offer these and similar courses of different duration. Some of the well established Institutes are:
- National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad
- CEPT University, Gujarat
- Arch Academy of Design, Jaipur
- JJ School of Arts, Mumbai
- College of Architecture, Nashik
- Exterior Interiors Pvt Ltd, Kolkata
- Pearl Academy, Delhi, Noida, Mumbai, Jaipur
- Vogue Institute of Fashion Technology, Bangalore
- Sai School of Interior Design, New Delhi
- IILM School of Design, Gurgaon
- Shri Devi College of Interior Designing, Mangalore
In USA, the National Association of Schools of Art and Design accredits about 350 post secondary colleges, universities, and independent institutes that have programs in art and design. The Council for Interior Design Accreditation accredits more than 180 professional-level (bachelor’s or master’s degrees) interior design programs.
The National Kitchen & Bath Association accredits kitchen and bath design specialty programs (certificate, associate’s degree, and bachelor’s degree levels) in more than 40 colleges and universities.
Salary of Interior Designer
As like any other profession, salaries of interior designers may vary widely and depend on your qualifications, contacts and location. It is possible to command high salary, when you are working with large and reputed firm and are involved with high-profile projects.
Starting salaries for junior designers may fall in the range of about £18,000 to £23,000.
The experienced interior designers can earn between £25,000 and £40,000, whereas the senior designers can reach £45,000+. More specialized professionals such as creative / design directors can earn more than £75,000 per annum.
The median annual wage for interior designers is about $49,000. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $26,260, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $91,230.
In India, depending on the type and size of the employer organization and one’s experience level, the salary for fresh / junior interior designers ranges between Rs. 360,000 to Rs.480,000 per annum. For senior interior designers, the salary range can be up to and sometimes than Rs. 900,000 to Rs. 3,000,000 per annum.
Income figures are intended as a guide only.
Career Path and Growth Prospects
Normally at the start of their career, interior designers work for the first five years in learning and acquiring practical experience, besides honing their existing skills and adding to their knowledge.
Typically newly qualified junior designers are assigned to work in a team and under an experienced professional. You are generally given responsibility to work on specific part or parts a project. As you gain experience and the confidence of your seniors, there is an increase in responsibility.
Depending on your performance, aptitude and dedication you are given raise in salary and assigned to suitable projects.
Types of Interior Designers
We live in an age of super specialization. Everyone can’t do everything. This is equally applicable in the field of interior designing also.
Some designers specialize in particular types of interiors of buildings, such as homes, hotels, shopping malls, large retail outlets, offices. Even in homes there could be further specialization such as interior designers for only bathrooms or kitchens; or an interior designer specializing in a particular specific style.
Similarly some designers are employed full time or as consultants for home-furnishings companies to provide design services to help customers choose materials and furnishings as per their taste and needs.
While some experienced and senior level interior designers may become project manager for the client throughout the construction at the site. This can involve coordinating the design on site and managing various construction teams of plumbing, sanitation, electrical, flooring, furniture etc.
Another way of classifying the type of interior designers could be based on the nature of the business of the end client, such as:
- Corporate designers for offices
- Healthcare designers for hospitals, clinics, healthcare centers, doctors’ offices etc.
- Kitchen and bath designers
- Retail Outlets designers
- Universal designers
Video: Career Prospects of Interior Designer – Full Details
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