Interior Design Job Opportunities

The team here at Job Mail love all things beautiful, so it is easy to see why we wanted to take a closer look at interior design jobs. From the nitty gritty of interior design, to interior decorating and other related fields, today we even explore the different career paths you can follow after completing interior design courses.

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What Do Interior Design Jobs Entail?

An interior designer is in charge of the interiors of buildings in terms of planning, designing and supervision. This design of interior spaces can take place in a commercial, residential, retail or even industrial setting.

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Interior designers focus on creating a space that is catered to meet specific needs and fulfill specific purposes. Space planning and space creation all form part of these professionals’ purpose.

When it comes to these types of design jobs, you will be in charge of various aspects, fulfilling a range of duties and completing a wide selection of tasks. These duties and tasks may include or exclude certain aspects, depending on the company you work for as well as the environment you work in.

When it comes to interior designing as a profession, you will be working with clients to determine and flesh out the different factors that will affect your planning when it comes to an interior space, such as the purpose and function of the space, the budget you are able to work with, and the architectural preferences of the client.

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Your job as an interior designer will also involve the research and analyses of the spatial requirements, the efficiency of the space, the safety aspects as well as the aesthetic requirements of the space. You will also be tasked using computer aided drafting (CAD) as well as other software used within your industry for the preparation of illustrations, sketches, plans and diagrams.

Another aspect of this career includes working with clients, giving advice on layout, colour coordination as well as design concepts to enhance the space designed.
You will also be involved in project management, as it is part of your tasks and duties to calculate everything from your material requirements and the costs involved, to the suppliers and solutions used.

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Interior design jobs will also involve you working with other professionals on a different career path. These professionals include everyone from an architect and a contractor, to plumbers and engineers. Keep in mind that you are, very simply described, a room designer, and this will overlap with different professions and experts.

Interior Designer vs an Interior Decorator

While it is common for many not active within the industry to use the terms interior designer and interior decorator as if they are the same profession, there is a difference between these two careers.

An interior designer is usually involved in a project from its very beginning – some professionals even working with an architect – developing an understanding of how the interior space will be used. Interior design jobs include the understanding, incorporation and effect of sound and light as well as an understanding of structural considerations as well as construction and building codes and regulations.

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Interior decorating on the other hand is not involved when it comes to the actual design of a building and its interior spaces. These types of jobs place a focus on the colours, furniture, textures and even textiles used in a space. An interior decorator in a sense ‘adds’ to a room in order to create a space where those who use it, can express themselves.

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Education and Interior Design Courses

South Africa offers a number of good interior design courses at a range of tertiary education institutions. The Cape Peninsula University of Technology for example offers a National Diploma in Interior Design. A three year study programme, here your subjects will include Drawing for Design, Design Studies and Presentation Methods, to name but a few examples.

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The University of Pretoria offers, within its department of Architecture, a BSc(Int) in Interior Architecture, a study programme where students will have to opportunity to learn how to design spaces that are sustainable, beautiful and meaningful at the same time. Recognised by the South African Institute of the Interior Design Professionals (IID), this programme also poses an educational membership at the International Federation of Interior Architects/Designers (IFI).

Other institutions where you can complete a National Diploma include the Durban University of Technology (DUT), the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University and the University of Johannesburg (UJ). Note that these tertiary education institutions also offer interior design courses with a Bachelor of Technology qualification.

The Design School of Southern Africa also offers a BA in this specific field.

The South African Institute of the Interior Design Professionals (IID)

A voluntary association member of the South African Council for the Architectural Professions (SACAP), the IID is the only professional body of its kind dedicated to the local interior design industry. It is an organisation that dedicates itself to not only establishing, but also promoting and maintaining the standards within this specific industry.

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Interior Design – A Doorway to Other Careers and Professions

From interior decorating to working in a retail environment, completing a formal education in this design field can open up various exciting career paths and is not only limited to the built environment professions.

Professionals educated within this field can find employment within the retail industry where groups employ professionals (like shop fitters) to fulfil certain installations and tasks. Within a retail design environment, these types of interior designing jobs can extend to include planning and designing window displays.

Architectural firms and practices may also employ interior designers as will furniture manufacturers and design services. Interior design will also allow you to fulfil exhibition design roles, architectural illustration and even office layout design.

Event planning jobs are also an option for these professionals as they, coupled with their deep understanding of spaces and spatial surroundings, are capable of creating venues that look transformed and events that will not soon be forgotten.

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Because some interior designers have training in interior decorating, this is also a field that they are able to explore, creating a transformed space (incorporating everything for colours on the walls and furniture, to textiles and textures) in different environments including hotels and office spaces.

Just by looking at the interior design courses offered by universities like UJ, you can see that the programme itself will prepare you to work in various interior designer roles – from restaurants and exhibition stands, to event planning jobs, project management and domestic interiors.

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The course in Interior Architecture offered by the University of Pretoria prepares you for various career options including stage and set design, product design and even lighting,  As you can see, having an education in interior designing can open up doors and careers in a range of creative fields – from designing furnishings and creating retail magic with displays, to finding employment within architectural firms and interior design firms, this creative field is an exciting one where specialisation within a field that most interest you, is possible.

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