A home designer is a professional who helps clients to visualize and build their ideal home within their budget constraints. Home designers are able to communicate their ideas to clients visually, which may include drawing or artistic ability. Designers must be well-versed in spatial relationships and should have a great capacity for creativity. Home designers work independently and as a team with builders and architects.
According to a report compiled by Salary Expert, out of 10 major U.S. cities, Houston, Texas had the highest annual salary for a home designer at $76,602. The median annual salary for a home designer out of all 10 cities -- which also included Chicago, Illinois, Orlando, Florida, Atlanta, Georgia, Boston, Massachusetts, Phoenix, Arizona, Indianapolis, Indiana, Dallas, Texas, Charlotte, North Carolina and New York -- New York was $66,516 as of January 2011. This is slightly lower than the average of all members of the architecture field, which had a median salary of $70,320 in May 2008, reports the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Home designers, also known as building designers, are not necessarily architects as they do not have to pass the same examinations or obtain the same licenses. Home designers work with clients to help them design their single family homes. They will often work hand in hand with a local construction company that they know can accomplish the designs they have in mind. Home designers must be well versed in all areas of design and must have strong physical science, mathematics and construction engineering skills to excel. They work in extreme environments and must communicate clearly with clients to ensure the house they build is the one their clients want.
Home designers often begin their training with an associate or bachelor's degree in building design or architecture. While in school they take coursework on subjects like building, environmental control, professional practice, design, graphics and construction. Home designers can gain the title of certified professional building designer by going through additional training, working in building design for six years and passing an examination. They may also become fully licensed architects, which requires a bachelor of architecture, which takes five years, or a master of architecture, which takes an additional three years after undergraduate training. Those with higher education like the master's degree may be more likely to receive a job over a less qualified candidate and they may receive a higher salary.
The outlook for architecture-related careers in general is positive, as jobs are expected to increase 16 percent from 2008 to 2018, reports the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is faster than the average of all jobs during the projected decade. As population increases, there will be more need to build places for people to live. As current houses get older, newer designs and designers may be needed. Home designers who are skilled in sustainable design may be the most sought after.
- house blueprint and house model studio isolated image by dinostock from Fotolia.com