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Interior Design Technician


Description

Nobody likes living or working in stark white apartments with bare floors and nothing on the walls. We enjoy color, art, and furniture in our everyday environments. On the other hand, as much as we might like nicely painted walls and highly-polished hardwood, not very many of us have the time or energy to design our homes the way we'd like to.
Lucky for us, there are interior designers and interior design technicians. These skilled artists take a bland office, hotel, restaurant, or private residence and create welcoming, warm, and stylish spaces for us to enjoy.

While interior designers initially meet with clients and come up with design concepts, it is the technicians who put the plans and ideas into action. They are the ones who draw, sketch, and use computer programs to creatively solve design problems, and develop the sketches for the design team. They develop plans for tearing down a wall, and draw up sketches for the windows to go in its place. They research building and safety codes, material costs and availability, and maintain a library of samples, sketches, and profiles of past projects. They might also look into paint colors, floor coverings, and fabric samples for the clients to choose from.

They must have the designs ready for the clients to examine, and must be able to explain their designs to the supervising designer as well as the clients, if necessary. They might follow the project through to the end, visiting the construction site after the project has been put in motion.

Interior design technicians have some, but not total, control over the designs they draw. The interior designer and the clients come up with the ideas, and it is the role of the technician to ensure their ideas are safe, economical, and environmentally sound. The technician is a crucial member of a design team.
 
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Program Spotlight
Matching School Ad
The Art Institutes system of schools

With an education from an Art Institutes school, imagine what you could create.

Programs Offered:
  • Interior Design (BFA)

 

 



  Average Earnings  
Lowest 10% of Earners:
$21,240
 
Median Salary:
$39,180
 
Highest 10% of Earners:
$69,640

  Interests and Skills  
Interested in becoming an interior design technician? First, they have an ability to visual spaces three-dimensionally in their minds. Interior design technicians are creative thinkers, practical as well as imaginative, and they love to follow through on ideas, no matter how many obstacles come up in the way. They are able to work well under pressure and enjoy all aspects of a project, including research, writing reports, and meetings. They also enjoy a challenge, and like learning new things. Finally they should like drawing, enjoy computers, and be interested in technology, history, and architecture.
 

  Typical Tasks  
  • Meet regularly with clients and supervising designers to discuss ideas and development of project
  • Create plans for building interiors, rooms, shops, residential, and leisure spaces by hand or on computer
  • Develop plans for interior lighting, air-conditioning and heating systems
  • Research safety codes and building regulations
  • Research materials to be used
  • Visit site to oversee evolution of work
  • A typical day for an interior design technician will be a long one, especially if the project is interesting, pressing, or fun to work on. A design technician will divide each day between meetings with designers, clients and practical work. The design technician will spend most of each day in an office, working on sketches, developing computer and actual models, and preparing and giving presentations to clients as well as visiting the sites during the construction process. This job will allow for travel, to client offices and homes for meetings, and to worksites. There may be some travel to other cities, depending on the needs of the client.

  Workplaces, Employers and Industries  
  • Interior designer technicians are employed by design firms, and can be found on staff with architectural firms, government offices, hospitals, airlines, development companies, hotel and restaurant chains, and large corporations. They will spend most of their time indoors, in design offices and meeting rooms. They will also spend time on construction sites, which can be dangerous.
  • They usually work long hours when in the middle of a project, including evening and weekend work.

  Long Term Career Potential  
Interior design technicians may advance to senior positions within a firm, or train to be full interior designers, and open their own businesses. They may become specialists in an area, like feng shui design, hospital design, or environmental design. They may become interior decorators, or open a furnishing, paint, or building supply store. They may take their knowledge of safety and become a building and construction inspector, or they may turn to set and stage design, furniture design, or sculpture. They can also write do-it-yourself books for amateur designers.
 

  Educational Paths  
Interior design technicians are required to complete a two- to three-year design technology diploma, offered at a number of colleges throughout the nation. From there, technicians may be required to register with a professional association, depending on where they live and work.
 

Sources:
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2002, http://www.bls.gov/oes/2002/oes_nat.htm

Featured Schools

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The Art Institutes system of schools  Online

With an education from an Art Institutes school, imagine what you could create.

Programs Offered:
  • Interior Design (BFA)
Campus Locations:
  • Sacramento, CA

 
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