Definition: Interior Designer Job Description

What are the missions of the interior designer? What training to follow to exercise this profession? What are his outlets and his salary? The answers are brought to you by this job description of the Interior designer.

Are you thinking of changing jobs and becoming an interior designer? Discover our business sheet.

Interior designer profession

Playing with volumes, lights and materials hold no secrets for the interior designer who designs apartments, houses, offices or shops on a daily basis.

What is an interior designer?

Not to be confused with the profession of interior designer, the interior designer is an expert in shaping a space, animating a place and creating an atmosphere so that the place is both functional and aesthetic. The interior designer knows how to show great originality and creativity in modulating colors, materials and volumes according to the specifications of his client.

As much artist as technician, he works equally well for the development of apartments, houses, hotels, offices, shops…

He works in close relation with the applicant whom he must listen to and guide in his choices without imposing his own.

A good interior designer knows how to combine creativity and technicality because there is no question of knocking down a partition without knowing the constraints of the building, or of redoing kitchen lighting without taking into account electrical standards.

Although often set up freelance, interior designers can also work for architectural agencies or consulting firms specializing in design and architecture.

Missions of the interior designer

First of all, the architect studies the needs of the client and takes into account his desires and budgetary constraints.

After having carried out measurements and an inventory plan in order to integrate the constraints and potentialities of the space to be enhanced, the architect draws up plans, sketches and estimates the cost. Then comes the presentation of the project to the client with the various plans (sectional, elevation, technical and final layout plans).

Once the project has been accepted by the client, the architect becomes a conductor since he must plan and coordinate his project.

Selection of companies that will intervene on the site, organization of site meetings, site report and monitoring of the work until delivery.

Qualifications required to be an interior designer


The interior designer is above all a creative person who must have excellent drawing skills but who also knows how to not lose sight of the technical and budgetary constraints imposed.

The interior designer knows how to apprehend space, volumes, detect possible improvements and combine colors and styles.

Read More:  Definition: Architect Job Description


The interior designer shows great thoroughness in his work and perfectionism in the smallest details. He must also respect deadlines and know how to adapt to unforeseen events and last-minute changes.

Contact direction

The interior designer works in a team and must therefore adapt to the collaborators who participate in his projects. He also has a great ability to listen to understand customer needs or site feedback.


In order to be able to reproduce architectural elements belonging to a particular style, a good knowledge of art history is essential.


Finally, availability is one of the essential qualities because you must not count your hours. The profession of interior designer requires traveling to construction sites at almost any time.

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Training to become an interior designer

Unlike architects, it is not mandatory to have a recognized diploma to practice as an interior designer but the CFAI (French Council of Interior Architects) ensures the integrity of the profession by issuing a certificate of capacity for graduates of certain schools such as Ensad, Ecole Boulle, Ecole Camondo.

A 2/3 baccalaureate diploma trains assistant designer technicians: the space design BTS. But it is only with a doctorate level that one can access the profession of interior designer.

Licence level

  • BTS ERA – study and realization of layout,
  • Diploma of Crafts (DMA) habitat arts/architectural decoration

Master level

  • DNA – national art diploma design option,
  • Diploma from specialized schools,

Doctorate level

  • Interior architect – designer (ESAM)
  • DSAA Design mention space

Doctorate level

  • Master of Interior Architecture (Penninghen),
  • Interior architect – product designer (Blue School),
  • Interior designer (ESAIL),
  • DNSEP – Higher national diploma of plastic expression option design

As part of a retraining, it is possible to prepare for the title of qualified interior designer through continuing education. Schools recognized by the CFAI also offer a diploma through the validation of prior experience (VAE).

Salary of an interior designer

Often working independently, the fees of an interior designer vary according to the project and the geographical area of ​​practice. The calculation is made as a percentage of the total expenditure incurred by the customer, or is established by units of vacation (hour, half-day, day…) or is determined in the form of fixed prices.

For employees, at the start of their career, the monthly salary of an interior designer varies between 1,500 and 2,300 dolars gross. After a few years of experience, it could be around $ 2,300 to $ 3,500.

Where does the interior designer work?

You can become an interior designer with salaried status for local authorities, for public bodies or in architectural firms.

You can also practice as a liberal, that is to say by signing contracts with craftsmen who carry out your creations themselves.

Trends in the profession

The democratization of design and interior decoration and the support of specialized media have made it possible to publicize the interior design professions. We want places that feel good and that are functional. The use of interior design professionals is therefore becoming more and more common.

Fancy an interior designer conversion?

Benefits of being an interior designer

  • You will be able to exercise an exciting, creative profession where each project will be a new adventure and where you can fully express your ideas. Routine does not exist;
  • If you choose to become self-employed, you will have great autonomy and great freedom;
  • The French are passionate about decoration, interior architecture offers a booming profession.
  • You will be able to live off your passion with a large audience: homes, shops or business offices
Read More:  Definition: Architect Job Description

Essential basic skills


  • Sketch path
  • Computer Aided Design and Drawing (CAD/CAD)
  • Reading plan, diagram
  • Town planning and construction law
  • Special Technical Clauses Book -CCTP-
  • Construction standards
  • Building construction and demolition standards
  • The history of art
  • Technical drawing
  • Detail drawing
  • Safety standards for spaces and establishments open to the public
  • Environmental standards
  • History of architecture

Know how

  • Define a preliminary draft
  • Determine the conditions for carrying out a project
  • Design interior fittings and layouts
  • Design a project presentation file
  • Consult with potential entrepreneurs on behalf of a client
  • Identify stakeholders on behalf of a client
  • Select decorative elements in agreement with the customer
  • Plan site operations
  • Coordinate the different phases of intervention of the building site trades
  • Check the conformity of the work until reception
  • Assist the client in receiving the site

(Source: ROME)

Where to start your retraining?

Changing your profession in favor of that of an interior designer cannot be equated with an opportunity that you can seize at the “right time”. It is a project, like any other, that you must anticipate by taking the necessary time. As Arthur Ashe once said, “One of the keys to success is self-confidence. One of the keys to self-confidence is preparation”…

Even if the profession of interior designer can be practiced without any diploma, wanting to train, as a prelude to your professional retraining, can be a salutary decision especially if you do not have any of the initial training previously listed.

Training can indeed be, to a certain extent, the key to professional retraining as an interior designer, but not necessarily because one thing is certain: retraining does not always rhyme with training.

It is best to take the time to prepare for your professional retraining by taking stock of your situation and your current skills. For this, calling on an expert in professional development could be an excellent prerequisite. This will expose your strengths and weaknesses in knowledge and skills, and therefore your actual (personalized) training needs, including the training organization that will meet those needs as precisely as possible.

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How to finance your retraining?

There are different mechanisms to finance all or part of your retraining.

Employees on permanent, fixed-term or temporary contracts

  • Personal training account (CPF)
  • Professional transition CPF
  • Skills development plan
  • Promotion by work-study program Pro-A


  • Personal training account (CPF)
  • Individual Training Aid (AIF)
  • Professional contract

Temp worker

  • Personal training account (CPF)
  • Professional transition CPF
  • Professional contract
  • FAFTT (Temporary Work Training Insurance Fund)


  • Personal training account (CPF)
  • FAF (training insurance fund)
  • Tax credit for the training of business leaders


  • Personal training account (CPF)
  • Vocational training leave (CFP)

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