Interior designer job description sample templates
Let’s face it, without interior designers, our places of residence and workspaces would be very much boring and dull. An interior designer works to bring to life an artistic vision for such spaces, with a keen focus on the safety measures and functionality requirements of the place.
Furthermore, these individuals ensure to adhere to building codes and regulatory standards when planning out the design of a space. Interior designers also work to make these places more beautiful and appealing by determining the right decorative items to use, such as lighting, colors, and the materials to place.
In as much as this sounds like a task anyone can do, you may need to have a knack for creativity backed with proper training before becoming a qualified interior designer. This is because for you to become one of the best, you ought to know how to draw, read, and even edit blueprints. Furthermore, you also need to undergo training to understand the various building codes, inspection regulations, accessibility standards, and many more.
This article is intended for both employers who are actively looking to employ top-notch designers and interior designers looking for ways to boost their portfolios.
Career paths in interior design
The interior design field is a wide one, and you can choose which career path you wish to take. In the creative industry, every individual has a unique aesthetic sense, and you can utilize such an opportunity to venture into the field you are more comfortable with.
Before calling out for applications or applying for an interior designer job, it would be prudent to first understand the major types of interior designers to help you narrow down to what exactly you want. The types of interior designer jobs that are directly related to a degree in interior design include:
Interior and spatial designer
Interior and spatial engineers must have a little or basic architectural knowledge that will come in handy in their daily operations. These individuals also have to know about project management as well as having creative design skills.
Both interior and spatial designers work on renovating internal spaces. Their main area of specialization is lighting, fittings, color schemes, furnishings, and structural alterations. Such individuals can also work on commercial projects, as well as domestic and leisure settings.
At the end of it all, interior and spatial designers ensure that the spaces they work on appear attractive and are functionally relevant. Some of the most popular types of interior designers you can come across are:
- Furniture designers
Did you know that the furniture you see at high-end places were all selected by professionals? Furniture design is a more specialized area of interior design. When you become one, your main job will be twofold – you’ll have to work directly with the clients as well as the suppliers.
The suppliers are people like the carpenters, so you have to guide them on the required designs of the furniture and what types of decorations to include in them – if need be or according to the client’s taste. When working with a client, you’ll be tasked with how the furniture will be arranged while incorporating functionality, accessibility, and optimal use of space.
- Exhibition designers
There are hundreds and thousands of exhibitions occurring every other month, regardless of the industry. To attract more people and eventually convince them to buy their products, brands hire interior designers to help them provide the layout and pick the decor to be used in their exhibition halls (or stalls).
Exhibition designers are more knowledgeable in modular stand design, museum designs, floor management, custom build designs, etc. To become a successful exhibition interior designer, you need to be skilled in CAD (computer-aided design) and 3D packages such as Vectorworks and Adobe Suites.
Since exhibition halls might not be permanent structures, these designers consider other factors such as the traffic expected and the items to be showcased. Moreover, they also factor in the general theme of the exhibition.
- Lighting designers
Just as the name suggests, lighting designers come in handy when working to ensure that there’s adequate lighting (and the right type of lights) in a particular space. Such professionals should have basic knowledge of wiring, or they work side-by-side with a qualified electrician to bring out the best effects depending on the lighting needs and nature of a project.
Apart from deciding where the lights are to be placed and what types of lights to use, lighting designers are also involved in schematic design and are knowledgeable of the various decorative products.
- Kitchen designers
Kitchen designers are mostly involved with coming up with kitchen designs that fit the client’s taste and aesthetics and are useful to them. A lot is taken into consideration, from the floor plan to the aesthetics and materials used.
Kitchen designers are basically tasked with ensuring that the kitchen balances both in design and functionality. Apart from knowing which decorations to use, they also need to understand general replacement procedures and the maintenance required for all the add-ons they go for.
The other career path you can choose with a degree in interior design is becoming a production designer. Here, you must have an excellent flair for visual arts. Production designers are mostly employed in theatre arts, film, and television productions.
Such individuals are tasked with designing almost everything that pertains to a film: props, lighting, costumes, camera angles, graphics, sets, etc. In theatre plays, a production designer may also be known as a stage designer, as they are required to pin-point everything out and how they want them to be placed.
A visual merchandiser uses their design skills and techniques to boost the image, products, and services of a brand. These professionals create eye-catching product displays and store layouts that attract customers in a way that encourages them to purchase it.
You’re best suited for this position if you have a flair for brands and fashion. You can work as part of the display team in a retail company to develop, deliver, and communicate visual strategies and concepts to promote the brand’s products. Apart from organizing physical displays, a visual merchandiser can also promote products online or in catalogs. Such individuals are also capable of landing jobs at museums or art galleries.
Corporate designers create professional designs for workplaces, focusing on various settings, regardless of the size of the building or space. The spaces created have to be efficient, functional, and that both the employees’ and visitors’ safety is considered. Furthermore, corporate designers are often tasked with incorporating the company’s brand into the design.
Healthcare designers focus their work on planning and renovation of healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics, doctors’ offices, residential care facilities, etc. Healthcare designers put into perspective the data and research they get to create a positive environment for the patients and the staff.
Roles and responsibilities
An interior designer’s primary role is to listen to the clients and put their suggestions into perspective by creating safe, functional, and standard layouts. Besides advising their clients, interior designers also work closely with other professionals to ensure a project comes out successfully.
They might have to work hand in hand with quantity surveyors, architects, engineers, etc. Regardless of the field that they operate in, here are some of the general roles and responsibilities that an interior designer handles:
- Creating a brief to be used and finding out what the client’s personal suggestions and requirements are.
- Inspecting and surveying buildings
- Building a rapport with suppliers and negotiating fees
- Setting a strategy and timeline for the project.
- Ensuring that plans are technically feasible
- Developing detailed designs, often using computer-aided design (CAD) software
- Picking the most appropriate materials for the design
- Advising clients on progress
- Supervising the work
- Search for and bid on new projects
- Consider how space will be used and how people will move through it.
- Sketch preliminary design plans, including electrical and partition layouts
- Create a timeline for the interior design project and estimate project costs
- Place orders for materials and oversee the installation of the design elements.
- To ensure client satisfaction.
Much of the work by interior designers is done in design studios. However, this is mostly so when designing the layouts or rendering of the spaces. Much of an interior designer’s time is spent at the client’s location, as they need to have hands-on experience during the design process.
Furthermore, interior designers work not only with the clients but also with suppliers. This means they will spend much of their time directing the entire process until the final piece is completed.
However, the advancements in technology have enabled designers to use software to create designs remotely that can be used in a different area, even if they cannot physically be there.
Training and education
When writing an interior designer’s job description, it would be prudent to consider someone with a bachelor’s degree in interior design. The coursework that someone took should focus more on drawing, computer-aided design (CAD), and interior design. A diploma on the same is also acceptable, and added training would be an added advantage.
Some people get into the interior design industry by taking a related course in 3D design, architecture, fashion, graphic, and textile design. All these questions are available for study at various colleges or by taking online lessons.
In some rare cases, architectural practice or a design consultancy might offer a trainee position to a candidate that showcases a high level of enthusiasm, flair, or relevant experience, even to someone without a degree.
However, it is essential to have a portfolio of varied designs that one can present to potential employers or clients. As done by many students, one way to get yourself going is to take up a one-year Foundation Diploma in Art and Design. This is done before applying for a diploma or degree course. If you wish to be a little more specific, there’s also a Foundation Degree in Interior Design, which often takes two years to complete.
Licenses and certifications
Getting licensed and certified to work as an interior designer might vary from one state or country to another. In some of them, only duly registered and certified interior designers might do the work. In some others, only licensed designers are permitted to carry the title of “interior designer.”
In some other states or countries, both a licensed and an unlicensed designer can call themselves the title of “interior designer” and are permitted to carry out the work. Before hiring a candidate, ensure to go through your workplace requirements to not get into conflict with the authorities.
For instance, some states that might restrict the usage of the title “interior designer” might need someone to have passed a state-approved exam or test.
In some cases, the most common one is the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam, which prospective candidates have to undergo before they actually become registered as interior designers. For you to take an NCIDQ exam, the minimum requirement is a bachelor’s degree in interior design and at least two years of work experience.
Personality and interests
Apart from having the necessary technical skills, an interior designer should also have an interest in creating and persuading areas, according to the Holland Code framework.
The creative side of it requires one to be original and imaginative when working with artistic media. The persuasive side comes through when one needs to sell ideas to others while motivating and influencing them positively.
Some of the specific qualities that an interior designer should have include:
- Creativity – anyone that wishes to join any design field must have a knack for creativity. To become an interior designer, you must have an imaginative mind when selecting the necessary fabrics, furnishings, and identifying new ways of creating spaces that serve the client’s needs and lifestyle.
- Artistic ability – as an interior designer, you need to have a sense of style to help you develop designs that look amazing and are aesthetically pleasing.
- Detail-oriented – if there is a career that also needs someone to be detail-oriented, it is interior design. You need to be precise when measuring interior spaces and even when creating layouts. This is because you have to ensure that the furniture and other furnishings fit correctly while creating a safe and functional environment.
- Visualization – you need a strong sense of visual awareness to understand how things will fit together in the intended environment.
- Problem-solving skills – you will experience many challenges as an interior designer. You may have to deal with construction delays, inflation of costs at the last minute, unavailability of selected materials while experiencing a tight deadline, difficult contractors, etc.
To survive (and become successful) in this field, you ought to have strong problem-solving skills to help you keep things running smoothly while keeping the project on time and within the budget.
- Interpersonal skills – these are the skills needed for the interior designer to manage a project seamlessly while maintaining a good relationship with both the suppliers and clients.
Some of the examples of interpersonal skills needed by an interior designer include:
- Effective communication
- Strong negotiation skills
- Active listening
- Good organizational skills
If hiring, you should note that the designer can have numerous interests. However, to pass the bar, they need to display these two:
- The changing trends in design
- The processes involved in architecture and construction
The salaries of interior designers may also vary depending on the level of experience. For instance, trainee interior designers might have a starting salary of about $24,000 a year. An experienced interior designer can earn up to $36,000 a year, while a senior designer can earn upward of $66,000 a year.
The salaries can also be dependent on the niche or industry that one works in. here’s a table to help you get started:
Niche or place of work
Architectural, engineering, and related services
Specialized design services
Interior design job description template
Here is a sample template to use when writing a job description for an interior designer:
Job brief/ summary
We are looking for an artful interior designer to create beautiful, functional spaces for residential and commercial clients. You will deal with design from the conceptual stage, development, liaising with the stakeholders, and managing and executing the plan. You will join our team of top-notch designers to ensure that all our clients receive excellent customer service while exceeding their expectations.
The goal is to design practical and functional spaces that are visually pleasing. Our ideal candidate should have at least two years of work experience with an impressive portfolio of design projects.
Interior designer duties and responsibilities
- Undertake design projects from conception, execution, and completion
- Define project requirements and schedules
- Set costs and project fees according to the allocated budget
- Research and decide on materials.
- Supervise work progress
- Research and follow industry changes, evolutions, and best practices
- Develop new client leads and provide bids for projects
- Discuss goals, expectations, budget, and timeline with the client
- Collaborate with architects, builders, mechanical and structural engineers, and other members of the project team to create and implement a design plan
- Create preliminary design schemes, either by hand-sketching or computer-aided design (CAD), and send to the client for approval
- Place orders for all supplies and materials
- Oversee installation of the design elements
- Debrief with the client after project completion to ensure that goals were met and the project was done to the customer’s satisfaction
Requirements and qualifications
- Bachelor’s degree in interior design, architecture, or related field
- Certification in an interior design specialty (such as lighting design, universal design, or kitchen and bath design)
- Portfolio showcasing customized designs
- 2+ years of industry experience
- Superior artistic and creative ability
- Strong problem-solving skills
- Attention to detail and an aptitude for visualization
- Excellent communication and presentation skills
- Proven working experience in decorating interior spaces (consultations, renovations, space planning, and new constructions)
- Expertise in layout, color, lighting, materials selection, custom furniture, and all installations.
- Proficient in AutoCAD, SketchUp, 3D Max, Illustrator, or other design programs
- Creative talent, imaginative, and has an eye for design
- Project management skills
Writing an interior designer’s job description isn’t hard. However, the first thing to consider is knowing what your new hire’s roles will be. Once you know their responsibilities, it will be much easier to curate a custom job brief, which will help you filter the candidates. Besides that, you should also beware of your region’s regulations on interior designers.
Does a person need special training and licensing to apply for a post as an interior designer? Apart from working from the office (or in-house), you can also find some pretty good freelance interior designers that will help you out regardless of the location you are from.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What should I look for when interviewing interior designers?
A: The first thing to look for when filtering potential candidates is their level of education. The least that one should have is a diploma in interior design. However, most importantly, you should also consider their portfolio. Have they displayed their ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures well? Do they showcase creativity in their portfolio? These are the most important things to consider when hiring an interior designer.
Q: Is it worth it to get interior design advice and services for a small living space?
A: An interior designer has a vast knowledge of colors, furnishings, materials to use, etc., that will help make your small room appear larger. Using the right color and strategically placing mirrors in your house can do wonders to increase visual depth.
As more people continue moving to urban settings, living spaces become smaller and smaller. Get help from an experienced interior designer to help make your space homier and appear bigger.
Q: What questions should I expect an interior designer to ask?
A: A professional interior designer will always have questions to ask you to ensure that everything runs smoothly – not unless you prepare yourself adequately. For starters, here are a few questions that you might expect an interior designer to you:
- What is your budget?
- What design style do you like or have in mind?
- Will you want to remain in the home during the re-design?
- Is there anything you absolutely do not like?
- How soon do you want the work to be completed?