Interior Design Careers

student and professor discussing work on a board


A career in interior design is filled with creative challenges and constant learning opportunities. It involves a commitment to developing environments that support life, living and work in a positive way that not only contributes to the desired image, but also enhances performance and productivity.

Post-Graduation Survey data

Graduate career opportunities include:

  • Residential designers developing the interiors of single family detached homes, apartments and condominiums.
  • Commercial designers developing the design of offices, financial institutions, retail, hospitality and entertainment establishments, recreational facilities, health care, public and government institutions and specialized areas such as set design for TV/theatre/film, exhibitions and kiosks.
  • Employment with architectural and design firms, in interior/facilities management divisions of large corporations, in retailing home furnishings and in marketing positions and showroom management.

What does an interior designer do?

Interior design is a multi-faceted profession in which creative and technical solutions are applied within a structure to achieve a built interior environment. These solutions are functional, enhance the quality of life and culture of the occupants and are aesthetically attractive.

Responsibilities of the professional interior designer include:

  • Research and analysis of the client's goals and requirements.
  • Development of documents, drawings and diagrams that outline those needs.
  • Formulation of preliminary space plans and two and three dimensional design concept studies and sketches that integrate the client's program needs and are based on knowledge of the principles of interior design the theories of human behavior.
  • Confirmation of the preliminary plans and concepts are safe, functional, aesthetically appropriate and meet all public health, safety and welfare requirements, including code, accessibility, environmental and sustainability guidelines.
  • Selection of colors, materials and finishes to appropriately convey the design concept and to meet socio-psychological, functional, maintenance, life-cycle performance, environmental and safety requirements.
  • Selection and specification of furniture, fixtures, equipment and millwork, including layout drawings and detailed product description; also provide the contract documentation to facilitate pricing, procurement and installation of furniture.
  • Provide project management services, including preparation of project budgets and schedules.
  • Preparation of construction documents, consisting of plans, elevations, details and specification to illustrate non-structural and/or non-seismic partition layouts; power and communications locations; reflected ceiling plans and lighting designs; materials and finishes; and furniture layouts.
  • Preparation of construction documents to adhere to regional building and fire codes, municipal codes and any other jurisdictional statutes, regulations and guidelines applicable to the interior space.
  • Coordination and collaboration with other allied design professionals who may be retained to provide consulting services, including but not limited to architects, structural, mechanical and electrical engineers and various specialty consultants.
  • Confirmation that construction documents for non-structural and/or non-seismic construction are signed and sealed by the responsible interior designer, as applicable to jurisdictional requirements for filing with code enforcement officials.
  • Administration of contract documents, bids and negotiations as the client's agent.
  • Observation and reporting on the implementation of projects while in progress and upon completion as a representative of and on behalf of the client and conducting post-occupancy evaluation reports.

This definition is endorsed by the National Council for Interior Design Qualification.