Commercial Interior Designer: what they do, how to become one, and where to study

Kate Sheffer Updated 
Commercial Interior Designer: what they do, how to become one, and where to study

Commercial Interior Designers play a vital role in the modern business world by creating aesthetically pleasing, functional, and efficient spaces. These professionals specialize in designing commercial interiors for various industries, including offices, retail stores, restaurants, and more. This article delves into the ins and outs of this exciting profession, from specializations to salary ranges and everything in between. By the way, recently the ProfGuide career guidance center has developed a precise career orientation test, which will tell you which professions are suitable for you, provide a conclusion about your personality type and intelligence.



There are several different specializations within the field of commercial interior design, such as:

  1. Office Design
  2. Retail Design
  3. Hospitality Design (restaurants, hotels, etc.)
  4. Healthcare Design (hospitals, clinics, etc.)
  5. Educational Design (schools, universities, etc.)

Tasks and responsibilities

Some common tasks and responsibilities for a Commercial Interior Designer include:

  1. Meeting with clients to discuss their design needs and preferences
  2. Creating design concepts and presenting them to clients
  3. Developing detailed design plans, including layout, color schemes, and material selection
  4. Coordinating with architects, contractors, and other professionals to ensure smooth project execution
  5. Overseeing the installation of design elements and ensuring the final product meets the client's expectations

Pros and Cons


  1. Creativity and problem-solving opportunities
  2. Diverse projects and industries
  3. Collaborative work environment
  4. High demand for skilled professionals


  1. Tight deadlines and potential for long hours
  2. Competitive job market
  3. Balancing client preferences with design best practices
  4. The need for continuous professional development

Demand (in USA, Canada, GB, Australia)

Demand for Commercial Interior Designers is strong in the USA, Canada, Great Britain, and Australia. Rapid urbanization, business expansion, and an emphasis on employee well-being have contributed to the growth of this profession.

Salary ranges (in USA, Canada, GB, Australia)

  • USA: $50,000 - $85,000
  • Canada: CAD 45,000 - CAD 75,000
  • Great Britain: £30,000 - £55,000
  • Australia: AUD 55,000 - AUD 90,000

Where do Commercial Interior Designers work?

Commercial Interior Designers work in a variety of settings, including design firms, architecture firms, construction companies, and as independent consultants. They are needed in virtually every industry to create functional, attractive spaces that enhance customer experiences and boost employee productivity.

Important qualities of a successful Commercial Interior Designer

  1. Strong creativity and artistic skills
  2. Excellent communication and interpersonal abilities
  3. Attention to detail and strong organizational skills
  4. Knowledge of design trends, materials, and technology
  5. Adaptability and a willingness to learn

Step-by-step career path

  1. Obtain a relevant degree in interior design, architecture, or a related field.
  2. Gain professional experience through internships or entry-level positions.
  3. Pursue professional certification, such as the NCIDQ (National Council for Interior Design Qualification) or RIDQC (Registered Interior Designers of Canada).
  4. Develop a professional portfolio showcasing your work.
  5. Network with industry professionals and seek out job opportunities.

How to become a Commercial Interior Designer

In the USA, becoming a Commercial Interior Designer typically requires a bachelor's degree in interior design, architecture, or a related field. While higher education is not always necessary, it can provide valuable knowledge and skills. Some states also require licensure, which may involve completing a residency or graduate program.

Where to become a Commercial Interior Designer (in USA, Canada, GB, Australia)

Here are five examples of institutions offering programs in interior design for each country:


  1. Pratt Institute
  2. Rhode Island School of Design
  3. Savannah College of Art and Design
  4. New York School of Interior Design
  5. Parsons School of Design


  1. Ryerson University
  2. Humber College
  3. Kwantlen Polytechnic University
  4. Algonquin College
  5. British Columbia Institute of Technology

Great Britain:

  1. University of the Arts London
  2. Kingston University
  3. Northumbria University
  4. Nottingham Trent University
  5. Sheffield Hallam University


  1. RMIT University
  2. University of Technology Sydney
  3. Swinburne University of Technology
  4. Queensland University of Technology
  5. University of South Australia

Can you enter the profession with a different degree?

While a degree in interior design or architecture is preferred, it is possible to enter the profession with a different degree, such as fine arts or industrial design. In these cases, it is essential to gain relevant work experience and build a strong portfolio that demonstrates your skills and expertise in commercial interior design. Pursuing additional coursework or certifications in interior design can also enhance your qualifications and improve your chances of securing a position in the field.

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