If you’ve always been interested in space design, you’ve definitely considered architecture and interior design as potential careers (amongst others, such as urban planning or creating TV and film sets). Architecture and interior design share many similarities; however, ordinary architects’ and interior designers’ daily routines are vastly different.

The admission requirements for the two occupations are also vastly different, with one being far less accessible than the other!

This article examines the similarities and differences between the two vocations, as well as the pros and cons of each. In addition, the course will examine the link between architects and interior designers in the actual world, as well as the comparatively new profession of “interior architect.”

What Is An Architect?

In brief, architects are individuals who construct structures. In collaboration with other specialists, they generate concepts, product designs, and drawings and, in certain cases, oversee the construction of their structures. Architects are frequently described as both scientists and artists, as they must design structures that are both safe and useful as well as visually beautiful.

What Is An Interior Designer?

Interior designers are responsible for ensuring that the interiors of buildings are safe and comfortable for occupants. Contrary to popular belief, the task does not consist primarily of picking lovely drapes and matching the carpets to the wallpaper!

However, interior designers must have a strong sense of visual harmony and a comprehensive grasp of what makes an interior space functional. You may learn more about the responsibilities of an interior designer by contacting your national industry’s supporting organization.

What Are The Most Significant Distinctions Between Architecture And Interior Design?

The most obvious distinction between the two professions is that architects are concerned with buildings, whereas interior designers are concerned with the interiors of buildings.

Architects study how to construct structures that won’t collapse, whereas interior designers learn how to enhance the utility and aesthetic appeal of inside spaces. Architects often perform “harder” technical work connected to a building’s construction, whereas interior designers typically perform “softer” psychological work linked to the user experience.

How Do I Become An Architect?

The path to becoming an architect varies from nation to nation, but a lengthy (and costly) training time is required regardless of where you qualify. In the United Kingdom, it requires a minimum of seven years: a three-year BA or BSc plus a year of work experience, followed by a two-year MA or MSc and a final year of work experience.

In the United States, a combined Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in architecture (known as the B.Arch) takes five years; additional years of industry experience are required before applying for a license to practice; students may also choose separate Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, which take even longer.

How Do I Become An Interior Designer?

The pathways to becoming an interior designer are far more diverse. The majority of interior designers have Bachelor’s or Master’s degrees in the field. However, this is not a prerequisite as it is in architecture. Other interior designers have lower-level academic credentials, such as diplomas or certificates, but extensive professional experience.

In extreme cases, young individuals may be able to acquire interior design apprenticeships that allow them to study and work simultaneously. Depending on the country in which you reside, your national body of interior designers should be able to give more information.

How Does Interior Design Function Inside Architecture?

Modernist architects such as Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright like to have complete control over every aspect of their structures, including fixtures, furnishings, and interior design. The majority of modern architects prefer to be less concerned with the interiors of their buildings, yet conversation between architects and interior designers is more prevalent now than in the past when the two areas were mostly kept apart.

This new emphasis on multidisciplinary collaboration permits the combination of specialist knowledge and abilities, resulting in higher-quality and more integrated products.

In the twenty-first century, the distinctions between disciplines are getting increasingly blurred. Previously exclusive to architectural courses, knowledge of the structure of buildings is being included in traditional interior design courses.

Some graduates of this program describe themselves as interior architects, as opposed to interior designers, and may engage in slightly different forms of employment.

Architecture And Interior Design Salaries

Those outside the field frequently believe architects are better compensated than they actually are! Some polls indicate that architects are slightly dissatisfied with their salaries, while others present a more optimistic image.

The typical annual salary for an architect in the United Kingdom is between £40,000 and £50,000, depending on criteria such as geography, seniority, and job title. In the United States, the average compensation is comparable at roughly $70,000, but it varies greatly (for example, an architect in Utah earns just 62% of what an architect in New York does).

What is the comparison to interior designers? Indeed.com estimates that the average interior designer compensation in the United States is $60,975, while payscale.com estimates that it’s closer to $50,000. Indeed.co.uk estimates the average income as £35,791; jakconsultancy.com indicates the range is between £18,000 (for a graduate at the bottom of the spectrum) and £80,000 (for a lead designer at the top).

In conclusion, interior designers earn less than architects throughout the course of their careers, but this is not unexpected given that architects are responsible for ensuring the structural integrity of buildings and are required to possess more stringent entrance requirements.

Given that an individual may work as an interior designer without a degree while architects are required to undergo extensive training, the wage differential is really fairly tiny.

Can I Work As An Architect And As An Interior Designer?

Theoretically, the answer is affirmative if you’re an architect with the proper credentials. This is especially true if you are self-employed.

However, without an extra certification in interior design, you would need a strong portfolio to persuade them that you are just as capable of working on a single room as you are on an entire structure. Unless you work for a highly flexible company that allows you to develop your own path, merging the two occupations in practice is going to be rather challenging. However, it is not impossible.

Unfortunately, if you’re an interior designer who wants to expand out into architecture, your only option is to go back to the beginning and get qualified as an architect; however, check our Frequently Asked Questions section below for more information on the hybrid profession of interior architecture.

Should I Study Architecture Or Interior Design?

That is a decision you alone must decide. On a practical level, architects are likely to earn more than other professions, although the difference is negligible when years of education and internships are included.

If you believe you could be interested in both careers, it is prudent to pursue architecture because you can always add interior design to your portfolio in the future. The opposite is not true.

Probably the best approach to decide is to consider your hobbies, talents, and priorities. If you have always despised math and physics, it is conceivable for you to be a skilled architect, but you are also likely to encounter much aggravation. If you’re innately creative, you may spare yourself a lot of misery by becoming an interior designer instead of an architect. The unpleasant reality is that architects spend a lot more time sitting over a computer, polishing technical drawings than they do coming up with original concepts.

There is also the matter of status to consider. As interior design has always been connected with domesticity and “women’s job,” it would be futile to deny that architects are viewed in more esteem than interior designers. Fortunately, this is improving rapidly, but it is naive to believe that the stereotype has been eradicated.


Does the interior design fit under the “architecture” umbrella?

True and no. Any architecture education will include interior design, and it is quite possible for a certified architect to practice as an interior designer without (or with minimal) further qualification.

A lot of the talents necessary for the two occupations overlap. However, many interior designers would certainly argue that a single module of an architectural degree cannot provide a comprehensive grasp of the profession, given that they earned their degree in their topic alone.

Someone who has studied interior design for three years will naturally have a stronger grasp than someone who has studied architecture for seven years.

Is becoming an architect preferable to being an interior designer?

Regarding employment, there is no “better.” If you want to earn more money, becoming an academic is typically preferable to being a caregiver. If you want to see how your work affects people in the real world, becoming a caregiver is likely preferable to being an academic.

As stated previously, architects often have a better position and make slightly more money, but this is usually not enough to repay the initial investment in training unless you have a passion for construction.

The contrast with architecture tends to devalue interior design, which is viewed by the majority of people as a great and even glamorous profession.

What distinguishes an interior designer from an interior architect?

Recently, interior architecture as a field of study has evolved. Unfortunately, a person who calls themselves a “interior architect” is not an architect; they have not completed the training necessary to practice architecture and are thus prohibited from utilizing the title.

But interior architects are not the same as interior designers since they are concerned with the construction and aesthetics of buildings. An interior architect might be described as a hybrid between an architect and an interior designer.

What does an interior architect do exactly?

Interior architects have a greater variety of responsibilities than interior designers. Interior design is the primary responsibility of both professions. However, interior architects are often involved throughout the whole building design (or remodeling) process.

Interior designers are typically brought in at the very end. Interior architects require a deeper comprehension of building structures and the properties of various materials. They will likely require CAD software. And they will need to be current with local and national construction codes to ensure that the ideas they offer comply with them.


Architecture and interior design are high-paying professions with promising futures, because people will always require secure and comfortable structures! It is more difficult to enter into architecture, which is somewhat reflected in typical pay; nevertheless, it is more simpler for a certified architect to work as an interior designer than vice versa.

Interior designers, on the other hand, have greater freedom to develop freely and have their designs realised, even in entry-level positions.

Which job you select will mostly depend on your interests and how you choose to spend your days, although both architecture and interior design are respectable and, more importantly, fun professions.