Have you ever walked into a room and been awed by its architecture? While it may look like the stairways, posts, or steps fell into perfect place, the interior architecture of a space, room, house, or office can be credited to the work of an interior architect. If you are curious as to how to come up with architecture designs as riveting as the dining hall in harry potter, or the library room in “My Fair Lady”, let’s take a look as to how you can jump-start your way to a career as an interior architect.
Interior Architecture Titles
Jobs titles for interior architects are varied. Before we jump into the career path of an interior architect, let’s take a look at the various positions that you can expect to choose from:
- Interior Architect
- Construction Manager
- Industrial Designer
- Landscape Architect
- Urban Planner
- Urban Developer
Additionally, you may decide to take on some less-traditional Interior architect roles, such as :
- Architectural design school professor
- Architecture critic
- Architecture photographer
- Real estate project manager
- Civil engineering
How to Become an Interior Architect
If you are itching to test the waters of interior architecture, start with your room! However, in the meantime, let’s go over the other steps you will need to take if you desire to make this line of work your career.
- Education: Decide on which educational route you plan to take. For instance, if you have just graduated High School, choose to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in Interior Architecture from an accredited College or University. If you already have a Bachelor’s degree, consider a Master’s in Interior Architecture. This is useful if your Bachelor’s degree does not have much to do with Architecture, and if you want to get a step ahead of some of the competition. Do you research to determine which route is best for you.
- Knowledge: Take Interior Architecture courses and get the knowledge that you need about the industry. Participate in extra-circular activities that will prepare you for this route, and work on projects with the help of your professors.
- Experience: A lot of architecture is hands-on. You are going to get the knowledge and skills for this through simple experience. Once you graduate, it is imperative that you apply for an internship or apprenticeship with a design or architecture firm.
- License: Next, you will find that you need a proper license if you are going to want to practice your skill in a professional setting. The license you will need is required by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). Take time to study for the exam and register to take the multi-part examination.
- Find a Job!: Time to find a job to put your acquired skills to good use! Apply for a job that fits your skill set and at a place that interests you. Of course, in the beginning you cannot be too picky. Remember that working as an Assistant to an Interior Architect is a great option as well. You will be given the chance to learn the ins and outs of the business before fully immersing yourself in handling your own projects. A few years of experience post-graduation will likely set you up very nicely for the job that you want. Also, consider contracting jobs or opening your own Interior Architecture practice and consult with clients yourself.
Interior Architect Salary
Of course, when considering a career, most people are interested in how much they can potentially make. Let’s take a look at the salary of an Interior Architect:
- Intern: If you are offering your services while still learning, expect to earn no more than $25,000 per year.
- New Graduates: If you have just graduated, you can look forward to a paycheck of around $40,000 per year.
- Managers: If you are in charge and oversee projects, your salary can go upwards to $60,000 per year.
- Individual Firm: If you decide to open your own business, your salary can have the potential to be as high as you want it to be – but you will have to work hard! There are both pros and cons of going into business for yourself; one of the cons is not having the manpower to work with that larger companies have. Additionally, you may not have a vast enough client base. On the plus side, being your own boss allows you to practice as much creativity and uniqueness that you so desire.
Remember that salary will vary depending on one’s experience, license, employment history, and location.
Interior Architect Skill Set
Skill sets differ based on jobs, so let’s take a look at the specific skills that you are going to want to hone in on if you are considering becoming an Interior Architect.
- Design: Being an Architect incorporates a lot of design knowledge even though your title is not an “Interior Designer”. You will have to know techniques, tools, and principals that make up a design plan.
- Technical Design: Additionally, you will have to have knowledge for the technical side of designing, such as working with models, drawings, and blueprints. Remember that designing in the 21st century can include computer knowledge and knowing how to utilize programs for your layouts and plans.
- Customer Service: Customer service is almost always an essential skill in a job where you are working with others. Your customers will go to you or your company because they want to be treated well and have your work meet the quality that they are looking for. Know how to be able to provide your customers with what they want.
- Construction: As you are going to be working with a lot of floor plans and various materials to make your Architectural design come to life, you will need to posses knowledge of the materials and tools that need to be used for your project. Also, knowing the construction and layout of houses or buildings and knowing how to keep them safe and intact is essential.
- Administration Management: Interior Architecture is generally more than a one person job. You will have to possess leadership skills, be able to delegate properly, and engage in group planning so that you can see a process through effectively.
Now that you know the skills you will need and what it takes to become and Interior Architect, get ready to put your creative juices to the test and learn how to put your personal touches on any interior space!