The Job rofile: Interior designer

Interior designers move between worlds. On the one hand, the profession has a clear tendency towards creativity and aestheticism, on the other hand, interior design also has a lot to do with figures, data and facts. The profession therefore requires technical understanding as well as talent and a feel for aesthetic interior design.

Interior designers are always in demand when it comes to designing and planning interiors of any kind.

They develop room and furnishing concepts that are perfectly tailored to the wishes of their customers and their budget. In their designs for furnishing one or more rooms with furniture, carpets, wallpapers, colours and accessories, they take artistic, economic, technical and ecological aspects into account.

Interior designers advise their clients on all aspects of the interior design of a room.

This requires not only technical know-how but also a great deal of psychological sensitivity. They must be able to empathize with their customers and listen to them carefully so that they ultimately meet their taste without generating unnecessary costs.

To do this, they first meet for an initial planning discussion and use this as the basis for designing the first true-to-scale sketch of the interior design of a room. They use modern Computer Aided Design (CAD) technologies for this purpose. Once the design has been approved by the customer, the work begins. To do this, they coordinate craftsmen, take care of purchases and orders for interior design and ensure that everything is set up properly and positioned in the right place.

Interior designers therefore work hand in hand from the first stroke on the sketchpad to the completion of a room. They have a lot of customer contact, but also work hand in hand with craftsmen. That’s why you should like to work with people in this profession. Creativity is also very important, as is passion for beauty and an eye for functionality.

Interior designers are commissioned by companies or better earning private individuals and finally have rosier prospects on the job market after long years of recession. The work/life balance is more or less balanced, depending on whether they decide to found a company or a permanent position. If you work as an employee, you can look forward to more regular working hours. The self-employed, on the other hand, have to reckon with highs and lows – with continuously running costs. This entails a greater risk.

How do you become an interior designer?

In order to work as an interior architect, a corresponding degree is the necessary prerequisite. Some universities require proof of an internship and/or carry out aptitude tests before starting their studies.

Candidates can study interior design in Germany at universities of applied sciences, art academies and universities. The standard period of study comprises six to eight semesters and ends with a Bachelor’s degree. If you add another four semesters, you have a Master’s degree in your pocket.

The following areas are on the curriculum during your studies:

Materials science

In addition to the very theoretical seminars and lectures, most courses include a practical semester. In this semester, prospective interior designers gain a first insight into their future profession and can make their first contacts and gain practical experience.

After two to three years of practical experience following their studies, interior designers can register with the Chamber of Architects. Then they can officially call themselves “interior architects”. The professional title is one of the few protected by law.

Salary: What does an interior architect earn?

If you decide on the job profile of an interior designer, you should not approach your salary with excessively high expectations. The starting salary averages around 2,400 euros gross per month.

However, factors such as company size, location and personal specialisation have a decisive influence on the salary level. With increasing professional experience, the salary also climbs further upwards. After a few years between 3,000 and 3,500 euro gross are possible in the month.

Entry opportunities: The prospects for interior designers

In architecture as a whole, unemployment is no longer as big an issue as it was a few years ago. While high numbers of graduates in the past were confronted with declining construction projects in the public sector and a tense construction industry, this has now changed. In the meantime, the industry is looking to the future with much more confidence and is able to show rising figures. The demand for graduates of an architectural degree course has therefore increased.

Careers: Development opportunities as an interior architect

As I said, interior designers have the basic choice of whether to pursue a career within a company or as self-employed persons. In the latter case, they run a business and, depending on their entrepreneurial skills and order situation, are responsible for an increasing number of employees.

Within a company, for example, they can be promoted to project manager. The project manager bears complete responsibility for the organization and the course of a project. This requires a high level of commitment, but is also rewarded accordingly.

Alternatively, after completing their university studies, interior designers can follow scientific paths and embark on research and teaching.

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