Exploring Career Options

Your Career in Interior Design

About This Job

Interior Design is a multifaceted profession. An accredited Interior Design education allows degreed professionals to create an environment that promotes well-being, is safe and functional, as well as aesthetically pleasing. In your role as an interior designer, you will analyze, plan, document, and manage design projects from conception to construction (beginning to end), while complying with codes and regulations. Research on human behavior, ergonomics, anthropometrics, acoustics, wayfinding (and more) are part of even a small interior design project. Designers create designs for various market sectors that effectively interpret the relationship of the human response to the built environment while applying the principles and psychology of design theory and colour methodology. Designers articulate the challenges of the changing design world and its connection to culture, history, and empathy for an interior environment. 

In Yorkville’s CIDA-Accredited (see below) program, designers develop and apply a systematic design process to creatively solve challenging design problems by employing convergent and divergent thinking in observation, investigation, and speculative inquiry, ideation, and implementation of design solutions. Designers learn to engage in quantitative and qualitative research methodologies to underpin design ideas. Once the research is complete, then you will apply this information to begin space planning. During this phase, codes, furnishings, fixtures, and equipment are essential to ensure the end design’s functionality. Designers will apply relevant building codes, laws, regulations, sustainability, and universality to human welfare and safety when designing interior spaces. 

Creativity and sustainability will be evident through interior finishes and fabrics, and coordination with electrical and mechanical trades is also required. Designers will demonstrate knowledge of building systems, material selection and interior detailing concerning interior design and interior construction, utilizing current industry tools, mechanical, digital, and manual methods to express design ideas. 

Technical documentation of the project is critical to convey to the contractors the specific design details and intent. Project management and construction administration see the project through to occupancy and ensure a satisfied client.  

Studying interior design will provide you with the necessary competencies and skills to work anywhere in the world. Top organizations globally demand the profession, and Yorkville University is your pathway to this dynamic career. Learn to employ practical and professional communication skills and techniques to interact and negotiate in collaborative environments, including client presentations. Learn to critically reflect and evaluate personal knowledge and practical experience to collaborate effectively with others. Model sound business practices related to project management and professional, ethical conduct. Throughout the degree, you will develop a professional portfolio and branding as a design professional. 

The Interior Design program at Yorkville University offers unique course in Restoration, moving spaces, Social Justice in the Built Environment, and Exam Preparation. This latter course, prepares students to sit for the first NCIDQ exam (National Council of Interior Design Qualification) which is IDFX. This is the first step towards becoming a certified interior designer. 

What is Interior Design?

Key Duties

  • Meet with clients to determine needs and project goals, site measure, and review any existing conditions 
  • Coordinate with other design trades- architects, engineers, manufactures, furniture dealerships 
  • Provide hand sketches, renderings, 3D drawings and virtual walkthroughs to convey design ideas 
  • Select interior finishes, fabrics, and furnishings 
  • Provide schedules and budget for the project 
  • Space plan including walls, doors, and furnishings 
  • Provide technical documentation and details to the contractor for construction 
  • Monitor construction process in regards to interior project scope 

Work Environment

  • Regular business hours, but may have to work evenings and weekends to meet deadlines or manage project installations and project  
  • Office setting, sometimes on-site depending on the industry and project  
  • Regular and moderate ongoing sensory exertion  
  • Minimal physical exertion required  
  • Travel may be required – domestic and international  

Critical Skills

  • Code compliance 
  • Budgeting  
  • Visual and Oral Presentation Skills 
  • Application of Accessibility and Inclusive Designer Standards  
  • Time Management 
  • Project Management 
  • Analytical, writing and language skills 
  • Research 
  • Technology Skills 
  • Empathy & Active Listening
  • Creativity
  • Attention to Detail
  • Innovation & Strategy
  • Collaboration & Leadership
  • Flexibility/Adaptability
  • Vision
  • Communication
  • Universal and Inclusive Design
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Lifelong learning
  • Growth Mindset
  • Confidence
Program Proficiencies
  • Autodesk: AutoCAD, Revit 
  • SketchUp Pro 
  • Adobe Suite: Photoshop, InDesign, Photoshop, Capture 

Sectors

There are many different specialties within the field of interior design.
  • Residential 
  • Multi-Family Residential  
  • Commercial/Retail 
  • Corporate 
  • Healthcare 
  • Senior Living  
  • Religious 
  • Institutional 
  • Educational 
  • Hospitality (e.g., hotels, restaurants, cafes) 
  • Yacht and Aviation Design  
  • Industrial / Supply Chain  
  • Branding and Strategy  
  • Government  

Employment Opportunities for Designers* | Interior Designer (Junior, Senior, Manager, Partner)

  • Drafter, Technologist 
  • CAD Specialist / BIM Coordinator 
  • 3D Visualisation Specialist 
  • Sales Representative 
  • Furniture or Flooring Dealership 
  • Furniture Designer 
  • Lighting Designer 
  • Merchandiser 
  • Textile, Tile, Carpet Designer 
  • Color Consultant 
  • Specification Writer 
  • Facility Planner 
  • Facilities Designer  
  • In-House Designer  
  • Design Educator 
  • Food Service / Equipment Designer  
  • Museum/Exhibit Designer  
  • Store Planner  
  • Construction Project Manager  
  • Master Planner  
  • Architectural Designer  
  • Historic Preservationist  
  • Design Researcher  
*Some titles may require additional education and/or advanced degree

Professional Certifications/Licenses

The rigorous Bachelor of Interior Design program at Yorkville University is accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA) and recognized by the Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario (ARIDO) and Interior Designers of Canada (IDC).  

Bachelor of Interior Design at Yorkville University students have won some of the industry awards and competitions from different industry organization like the Interior Design Educators Council (IDEC) and Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario (ARIDO). Our graduates have been hired by established design firms; some owned their own business. 

Our graduates also meet the necessary educational requirements to take the CIDQ (Council for Interior Design Qualification) exam to be a licensed and use title of (Interior Designer) in some jurisdictions in North America. This is a step towards being a registered interior in your provincial interior designers’ association (by province). 

This degree will potentially allow you to get certifications and accreditations through doing the applicable exams to be LEED AP (Accredited professional), WELL AP, Certified Lighting Consultant (CLC), and BCIN (Building Code Identification Number), and Interior Design Code Specialist (IDCS). 

Provincial Interior Designers and Architects Associations/Canada

Professional Organizations

Job Search Tips - Where to Focus Your Time

Building Professional Relationships (80%)
  • Meet with a YU Career Services Advisor 
  • Join a Professional Design Organization (see above) 
  • Attend local networking events through the school or Professional Design Association 
  • Gain experience and expand your network by volunteering 
  • Complete an internship 
  • Attend company designation/info sessions, recruitment events, job fairs 
  • Attend conferences and events 
  • Find a mentor 
Online Activities (20%)
Build a strong resume:
  • Work with Career Services at YU to develop a 1-page resume
  • Build a strong portfolio:
    • Save and document your design work to show your design process and most robust skillset
    • Create a professional, digital portfolio to share with future employers
Create a LinkedIn profile: Job portals:
SALARIES
  • Salary for Certification in Canada: Interior Designer  

    Earnings for interior designers can vary widely. In general, they earn anywhere from $35,000 to $65,000 a year. Pay depends on their location, reputation, and experience. Designers just starting may make $25,000 to $35,000 a year. But those who have a good reputation and regular clients can make much more. Some top-level designers make $80,000 a year or more. 

    Designers can charge by the hour, by the project, or per square foot. Most charge a fee for drawing up plans and creating design and construction documents that support the build-out of interior space. Some designers sell products, including furniture, fixtures, equipment, and finishes.  

    Salaried interior designers often receive benefits, such as dental coverage and sick days. Self-employed designers must provide their benefits. 

    According to the Job Bank, between 2019 and 2028, Canada is expecting a total of 11,900 job openings in interior design. These will be a result of retirements from previous employees, as well as expansion in the industry. Canada expects to have 12,500 new interior designers seeking jobs during this time. Because these numbers could diverge, there could be a labor shortage in interior design. Job prospects vary by region. In Ontario, for example, the job prospects for interior designers is fair, while in Manitoba, it is good. 

    According to the Job Bank, interior designers who are tech-savvy and can integrate the use of technology into their work will have better chances of landing a job. 

    (https://work.chron.com/requirements-interior-designers-canada-20296.html)

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