Interior Architect Career Profile

Interior architects are some of the most creative people. Interior architecture is a client-oriented and technically demanding branch of architecture. It requires extensive versatility and strong technical knowledge. Unlike most forms of architecture, it involves dealing with not only the design requirements of the interior of a building, but working in accordance with the external structure, as well. In some cases "interior" architecture involves literally removing the entire existing internal structure and replacing it, while maintaining the structural integrity and appearance of the outer shell.

The work environment

Interior architects work in the traditional architectural environments, their offices and studios, and on-site. This is a strongly client-driven market. The role of an interior architect includes:

  • Advisory and consultancy roles: Helping clients with their situations, advising regarding architectural options, costs, use of materials, and construction and design issues.
  • Site inspection and site issues: For interior architects, site inspections provide essential information regarding structural and construction issues. Site inspection includes examination of any existing plans, or if necessary creating a plan from available information. The plan for interior architecture will require statutory approval. The interior architect must be sure the existing structure is up to current approvals standards. If it's not, additional, and probably expensive, structural work may be required.
  • External structure: Older buildings may require extensive strengthening, or in some cases complete replacement of supports, to ensure structural integrity. To do this, detailed technical plans must be drawn up, inspected and approved prior to commencement of work.
  • Planning and design: The interior architecture is designed according to the client's requirements. This may involve extensive consultation regarding the nature of the design, use of materials, and other important information which affects the design process.

 The Daily Work

Several plans may be required for each stage of creation of interior architectural designs. For example, a three story house is being completely redesigned. The old partitions are completely removed on the ground floor, with part of the second floor removed to create a higher ceiling and a split level, open plan interior in one corner of the house. This design requires a complete reworking of the supports, because the existing structure has been compromised by removal of the second floor section.

To do the construction work safely and get building approval, a construction plan is required showing the creation of new supports for that part of the house. Additional separate plans may be required to provide details of the support structures.

Wages and Hours

The wages for interior architects are fee based, depending on client requirements. Salaries for employees in the design area are $50,000 to $90,000 for qualified architects. Normal office hours are customary, but may involve considerable time in the planning stages.

More about Interior Architects

Interior architecture is a highly lucrative career allowing considerable creative freedom and opportunities for exploration of design concepts. Many interior architects are self employed, and that's because the demand for their services is constant. They also provide very valuable services to their clients, giving professional advice which may save the clients large amounts of money in construction costs and time, as well as giving design options.