Have you ever considered how many opportunities are available “behind the scenes” within a design or architecture firm? It’s easy to identify the typical roles in the industry – Architects, Principals, Designers, etc., but what other types of roles are available as you explore the realm of design?
We’ve identified some of the more common roles that play a crucial part in getting a project across the finish line.
Assistant & Junior Roles
Titles to search for may include Junior Designer, Interior Design Assistant, Designer 1, Design Coordinator, Architectural Assistant, Architectural Design Assistant, or Junior Architect.
These titles can vary from firm to firm, but generally, the most common difference between an Assistant and a Junior Designer is the amount of responsibility assigned to the designer. Where an Assistant may focus on being a resource for the firm’s more tenured designers, a Junior Designer may begin to take on portions of projects on their own.
Materials & Procurement
Titles to search for may include Materials Librarian, Procurement Specialist, Procurement Manager, and Design Specification Specialist.
Full scope interior design can envelop materials from the flooring to the crown molding and everything in between. In many firms, there may be a materials library that houses textiles, samples, and other miscellaneous materials to piece together your mood boards to begin a project. A Material Librarian is responsible for maintaining, cataloging, and organizing, so a keen eye for detail will be your key to success!
As for the Procurement side of the industry, once a design has been created and approved, this is the time when a Procurement Specialist steps in to manage the ordering of all FF&E and anything else to bring the design to life. This role involves a bit of creativity and an ability to stick to a strict timeline to receive all materials/furnishings within that time frame successfully.
This career path might also include the position of Expeditor – a person responsible for creating purchase orders, tracking and receiving all incoming deliveries, ensuring the accuracy of purchase orders and vendor invoices prior to sending them forward to the accounting team, and managing all vendors payment processes. Although this role is not heavily involved in the design itself, it is crucial for projects to remain on track and on budget.
Titles to search for may include Office Manager, Office Admin, Executive Admin, Executive Assistant, or Office Assistant.
These positions generally work closely with the financial side of the house to assure that the A&D firm runs smoothly. General responsibilities could include working with vendors, interacting with bookkeeping and finance, and assisting with daily operations.
A Project Manager oversees various administrative aspects of an interior design project. Daily responsibilities generally involve planning project timelines, consulting with clients for budget and goals, and managing the team that is leading the charge on their design. Having a PM associated with a project ensures that details do not slip through the cracks, no matter how small.
Titles to search for may include CAD Drafter, Technical Designer, Technical Architectural Designer, BIM Designer, or Rendering Specialist.
Not all designers interact with a project in a client-facing manner. If you’re interested in remaining behind the scenes, consider exploring something more technical. These roles will be heavily based on the drafting and editing process of specific project details. Oftentimes, a designer will create a basic draft of a floorplan, millwork, or client presentation and then hand it off to someone in the technical department to elevate the rendering to something usable.
Understanding how each of these roles integrates into the dynamic of an organization can set you apart from others in the industry.
If you’re just beginning to explore career options within Architecture & Design, don’t be afraid of traveling different career paths, as there are multiple ways to grow and achieve your end goals.
If you’re ready to take that leap and explore new opportunities in the A&D industry, head over to Jobs.InteriorTalent.com to see what our team is actively recruiting.
Know of someone else in the industry that might be looking for new opportunities instead? Sign up here to become one of our Brand Ambassadors and refer your friends to Interior Talent. For each candidate that is placed through Interior Talent, you can earn $500, and they get a $250 bonus!