A Glimpse Into Interior Architecture Jobs: What to Expect and How to Get Started

If you like observing and designing indoors spaces, then interior architecture jobs might be the perfect fit for you.

Designing what buildings look like on the inside can get pretty complicated — which is why interior architects and designers have so many job options and specialties.

To help you get it sorted out in your head, let’s first review the differences between interior architecture and interior design. While interior architects and interior designers may graduate from the same interior architecture program and take similar classes, they don’t necessarily take on the same roles.

For one, interior architects tend to have a more technical understanding of architectural practices. In fact, they’re the ones in charge of creating part of the building — the actual structure of the interior space. So as an interior architect, you could be creating blueprints that satisfy clients’ demands. Or you could be managing the construction process.

On the other hand, interior designers tend to work more with aesthetics, though understanding basic technical aspects is also important. Take interior designers Dawn Carlson and Carol Perry, for instance. Their job is to outfit clients’ homes and business spaces with furniture and fixtures after the building is complete.

Project by Academy student Tanakorn Tangwiriyakulchai
Project by Academy student Tanakorn Tangwiriyakulchai

Ultimately, interior architects and designers often work closely to deliver finished products to clients.

Exploring Potential Interior Architecture Jobs

Since interior architecture and design is such a broad field, a bachelor’s degree is often needed to jumpstart a career. After graduating, many interior architects and designers move onto an apprenticeship to learn the ropes before marketing their skills on their own. Many also choose specialties or narrow their focus so that they handle different parts of the design process.

Below are some job options:

  • Accessibility designer
  • AutoCAD/BIM designer
  • Commercial interior architect or designer
  • Design consultant
  • Furniture, Fixtures, and Equipment (FF&E) designer
  • Instructor
  • Job captain
  • Project manager
  • Residential interior architect or designer
  • Theme park interior architect or designer
  • Visualization specialist
Project by Academy student Kevin Veitch
Project by Academy student Kevin Veitch

Looking Toward the Future: Job Growth and Salary Ranges

In the coming years, this career path is set to experience phenomenal growth, making it a great time to jump onboard. From 2018 to 2028, this field is expected to grow by 8 percent, which will open the doors for many more professionals.

While the median salary for interior designers was $53,370 in 2018, the median salary for interior architecture jobs sat at $79,380. Specialization can help boost your pay rate considerably, especially if you focus on high-tech paths, such as AutoCAD/BIM designer roles. The more specialized skills you bring to the table, the more successful you can be at negotiating for better compensation packages.

Interested in a future in interior architecture and design? Request more information about the School of Interior Architecture & Design at Academy of Art University today, or send in your application for the upcoming school year!