A Closer Look at a Career as an...

A Closer Look at a Career as an Interior Designer

by Rochelle C. Pangilinan
Jobs People Do | JobsPeopleDo.com

With the real estate boom in Canada, particularly in Toronto and Vancouver, going for a career in interior design is a viable option. This is also a profession to consider if you are a designs and aesthetics buff and take pleasure in watching those home makeover shows, making note of every minute detail from the before and after shots.

Of course, when it comes to transforming a blah home into a wow home, it takes more than merely design and aesthetics know-how. Oftentimes, it takes much work and effort than these reality TV shows would have you believe, so that is something you would have to be prepared for.

Interior Designers – What You Need to Know

The main job of interior designers is to plan and design a space that meets the aesthetic, functional, comfortable, and safety targets of the clients. The space can either be for a living or working environment. To ensure that the clients’ objectives are met, interior designers have to consider each component in a given space, not just furniture, decoration, or accessories, but also lighting, colours, and measurements.

Contrary to popular belief, an effective interior design involves more than figuring out which sofa goes best with throw pillows. They also have to be familiar with building codes and decorating principles. For interior designers to customize the space that is truly according to the clients’ standards and expectations, they should have active listening skills, as well as critical thinking and analytical skills especially when it comes to the timelines and budget involved. Interior designers work with contractors to transform a design on paper onto real-life, and in a way, they act as the manager or leader for these projects. If it is a huge project such as the completion of interior design for a 30-storey building, however, they are likely to hire a project manager to oversee the implementation and construction of the projects. Interior designers can work under a firm or independently on a per-need basis.


According to PayScale.com, an interior designer can earn an average of $32,294 – $67,646 a year.


Interior designers should have exceptional knowledge in design function and aesthetics. Since they work with architects or architectural firms most of the time, interior designers should have a good grasp to interpret architectural drawings or blueprints. They should be able to furnish drawings both by hand or by using software such as AutoCAD. They have to be well-aware of current industry standards in relation to materials and other elements.

Most importantly, interior designers should have good interpersonal skills and a collaborative spirit as they have to work well with both the clients and third-party vendors or contractors such as electricians, plumbers, etc. to accomplish projects according to given timelines and budget. They should be well-versed of the national standards set by Interior Designers of Canada and its nine provincial regulatory bodies.

A degree in interior design from an accredited educational institution is required. Following completion of their degree, aspiring interior designers should apply for internship with a firm or established interior designer. Afterward, they have to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification examinations.

Pros and Cons

A career in interior design affords one continuous excitement and freshness as no project is ever the same since clients would always have their own style and taste when it comes to their living or work space.

A disadvantage is working with clients who insist on pushing their own ideas for design when these don’t meet function or safety goals. It is therefore the interior designer’s job to ensure that there is effective communication and negotiation between them and the client, making sure the client understands that a project should not only be attractive but functional as well.





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