What Are the Job Duties of an Interior Designer?

Interior designers improve interior spaces to meet the needs and preferences of those spaces' inhabitants. While interior designers may work on a wide variety of buildings, their job duties are usually the same. They analyze clients' needs, create plans and specifications, and make sure that a project is finished in accordance with the timeline and budget. Schools offering Interior Design degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Overview

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), interior designers improve the look, usage, and safety of interior spaces. Their main purpose is to meet the needs of the occupants by enhancing all aspects of the space, including color, lighting, textures, furniture, and the spatial relationships. Interior designers work on the interior spaces of all kinds of buildings, including homes, offices, hospitals, shopping malls, restaurants, and theaters. However, their duties are similar from project to project.

Important Facts About This Occupation

Required Education Bachelor's degree
Licensure Requirements vary in each state; some states only allow the use of the title 'interior designer' to those who pass the National Council for Interior Design Qualification exam
Professional Certification Voluntary certification in a specialty area is available
Key Skills Interpersonal and problem-solving skills; attention to detail, artistic ability, vision, and creativity
Work Environment Office setting, residential locations
Similar Occupations Architect, fashion designer, floral designer, graphic designer

Assessing a Client's Needs

Interior designers meet with their client to examine the space and understand the client's preferences and budget constraints. For example, an interior designer remodeling a bathroom for a family would meet with the family members to determine their habits and to examine the current lighting, colors, and spatial relationships. According to the American Society of Interior Designers (www.asid.org), interior designers in charge of decorating newly built commercial structures (hotels, restaurants, etc.) may also be involved in planning the building's construction.

Creating a Plan and Specifications

Next, an interior designer creates a design plan, often using computer-aided design (CAD) software. This plan is usually developed in conjunction with the client, who is shown drawings and product samples for approval. After a rough design is agreed upon, the designer estimates the costs and specifications are drawn for the required furniture, flooring, artwork, and lighting. A project timeline is also created at this point.

Ensuring that the Work is Completed on Time and on Budget

Finally, an interior designer oversees the implementation of the design, making sure that the timeline is met, and costs are kept within budget. After the project is finished, the designer meets with the clients to make sure that they are happy with the work.

Employment and Salary

In 2014, interior designers earned salaries averaging $54,850 a year, according to the BLS. Those employed by the federal government made the most money, earning an average of $75,730 a year. The employment of interior designers is projected to grow at an average pace of 13% between 2012 and 2022, stated the BLS.

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