Interior designers and interior decorators conceptualize and produce aesthetic, functional and safe designs for interior spaces in residential, commercial, cultural, institutional and industrial buildings. They are employed by architectural and interior design firms, retail establishments, construction companies, hospitals, airlines, hotel and restaurant chains, and other establishments, or they may be self-employed.

Example titles

  • Aircraft interior designer
  • Interior decorator
  • Interior design technician
  • Interior designer
  • Kitchen designer
  • Office space planner
  • Retail space planner

Inclusions

  • Home staging consultant
  • Space management consultant

Main duties

This group performs some or all of the following duties:

  • Consult with clients to determine needs, preferences, safety requirements and purpose of space
  • Develop detailed plans and 3-D models showing arrangement of walls, dividers, displays, lighting and other fixtures using computer-assisted design (CAD) software and graphics software
  • Develop plans, elevations, cross sections and detailed drawings, and advise on selection of colors, finishes and materials, floor and wall coverings, window treatments, interior and exterior lighting, furniture and other items, taking into account ergonomic and occupational health standards
  • Estimate costs and materials required and may advise on leasing, real estate and marketing
  • Prepare plans and specifications for the final interior designs in accordance with current practices and codes
  • Work in a multidisciplinary environment
  • May direct site work crews and subcontractors.
  • Interior designers are experts in the area of interior architecture, construction materials and building codes. They may specialize in designing interiors for residential, commercial, institutional, cultural and industrial buildings and for aircraft, ships or trains, trade shows and exhibitions. Interior decorators may specialize in decorating residential or commercial interior spaces, home staging, color consulting and home organizing.

Employment requirements

Interior designers

  • A university degree or college diploma in interior design is usually required.
  • The National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination may be required after six years of combined study and experience.
  • Certification by a provincial institute or association is required to use protected titles related to interior designers in all provinces except Prince Edward Island.

Interior decorators

  • A college certificate or diploma in interior decoration is usually required.
  • Membership in the Canadian Decorators’ Association is available to qualified decorators.

Exclusions

  • Graphic designers and illustrators (5241)
  • Industrial designers (2252)
  • Lighting designers (in 5243 Theater, fashion, exhibit and other creative designers)
  • Painters and decorators (except interior decorators) (7294)
  • Theater, fashion, exhibit and other creative designers (5243) Follow us

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