Which career is better? Architecture or Interior design
Both Architects and Interior Designer get the opportunity to be very creative and have a wonderful sense of accomplishment when they actually finish their projects. They both typically work a crazy amount of hours per week in pursue of the perfect design. Both careers are sadly tied to the strength or weakness of the economy so when people have additional income both of these careers thrive but the opposite of that is also very true.
Architects are held to a much higher standard as what they design has to fulfill the government’s “mission of protecting the health, safety, and welfare of the public through the regulation of the practice of architecture ”.
Architecture school programs offering a Bachelors of Architecture (BArch) are all 5-year programs and some Architects also get a Masters of Architecture but it is not a requirement to be an Architect. I know that there are a variety of Interior Design programs out there but I don’t think any of them are Bachelors degree program requiring 4 years of study (I could be wrong on this point).
Architects have to be licensed to practice their profession through a gantlet of 7-8 multiple hour exams plus an oral exam in front of three judges and then officially document that you have completed a certain amount of years in the various aspects of the practice in the real world. Then every two years you have to continuing education hours to renew your license with a state fee, but you do get to be called an Architect.
Interior Designers have no such licensing requirement or long educational requirement that I am aware of. There are “Certified Interior Designers” by the California Council for Interior Design Certification but this group is not a government agency from what I have read, thus the standard to be become an Interior Designer is far easier. Interior Designers do not get fined, sued or go to jail for picking the wrong wall coverings, but if the house start leaning you can bet the Architect is going to court.
That being the case, when it comes to compensation for services, most of the high quality Interior Designers that I know and have worked with, charge much higher design and production fees than your typical Architect does or can with little to no liability and not having to go through all of the brain damage and sacrifice of state licensing or 5 years minimum of college education. They all drive better cars than me. For these reasons, I would encourage my own daughters to go into Interior Design and discourage them from becoming an Architect.