Differences between interior architecture and architecture

Differences between interior architecture and architecture
Dr.Fatma.ElHadad Date : 26 Apr 23

Architecture and interior architecture are closely related disciplines that involve the design, planning, and construction of buildings and interior spaces. 

Despite similarities between both fields, there are some Differences between interior architecture and architecture which we will discuss in detail through this article. Keep reading.

Overview of the interior architecture degree 

An interior architecture degree is a specialized program that focuses on the design and planning of interior spaces. It combines elements of architecture, interior design, and spatial planning to create functional, aesthetically pleasing, and innovative interior environments.

Interior architecture is concerned with the interior spaces within buildings. Interior architects focus on the layout, flow, and functionality of interior spaces, as well as the selection of materials, finishes, and furnishings. They work to create spaces that are not only visually appealing but also functional and comfortable for the occupants.

The curriculum of an interior architecture degree typically covers a range of topics related to : 

  • Design
  • Construction
  • Materials
  • Building systems
  • Lighting
  • Color theory
  • Furniture design
  • Sustainability
  • Project management.

Overview of the architectural engineering major

Architectural engineering is a multidisciplinary field that combines principles of engineering with knowledge of architecture to design and construct buildings and other structures. 

Architecture focuses on the overall design and functionality of buildings, including the structural elements, facade, layout, and overall aesthetic. Architects work on a broad scale, considering the building's relationship to its surroundings, environmental impact, and user needs.

Some architectural engineering programs offer specializations or concentrations in areas such as :

  • Structural engineering
  • Mechanical systems design
  • Electrical systems design
  • Building energy performance
  • Sustainable design.

Advantages of studying the interior architecture major 

Advantages of architecture and interior architecture is an important item in the Differences between interior architecture and architecture.

Studying interior architecture can offer a range of advantages and benefits for students interested in this field such as:

1. Creativity and Design Skills 

2. Versatile Career Opportunities, including working as

  • Interior designers
  • Architectural designers 
  • Space planners
  • Furniture designers
  • Set designers, and more

3. Hands-On Experience by  studio courses, design projects, internships, and collaborations with industry professionals.

4. Interior architecture focuses on the design and organization of interior spaces, considering factors such as functionality, circulation, lighting, acoustics, materials, and user experience. 

5. Collaboration and Communication Skills with architects, engineers, contractors, clients, and other stakeholders.

6. Sustainable Design Practices by  creating environmentally friendly and energy-efficient interior spaces that promote sustainability, reduce environmental impact, and contribute to healthier living environments.

7. Global Perspective on design trends, cultural influences, historical contexts, and contemporary practices in the field which enrich students' creativity, broaden their horizons, and inspire new ideas for their design projects.

Advantages of studying architecture major 

Studying architecture as a major can offer numerous advantages and benefits for students interested in this field, including:

  1. Architecture is a highly creative and expressive field that allows students to design and create innovative, visually stunning, and functional spaces.
  2. Architecture programs emphasize critical thinking, problem-solving, and analytical skills. 
  3. Technical Proficiency as students acquire technical skills in drafting, modeling, rendering, and computer-aided design (CAD) software, which are essential for creating detailed architectural drawings and presentations.
  4. Collaboration and Teamwork with other professionals, such as engineers, contractors, clients, and stakeholders. 
  5. The demand for skilled architects is expected to grow as cities expand, infrastructure projects increase, and sustainable design becomes more prevalent.

Advantages of studying architecture major

Courses for the interior architecture major 

If you ask about Differences between interior architecture and architecture, you should know the courses available in both fields.

The courses for an interior architecture major typically cover a wide range of topics related to design, spatial planning, building construction, materials, and aesthetics, including:

  • Technical drawing - drawing by computer
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Computer-Aided Drawing (CAD)
  • Color and Textures
  • Conceptual Curricula in Interior Design
  • Environmental Psychology
  • Materials and Production Techniques for Furniture Design
  • Interion Creative Production Techniques and Materials 
  • Computer Modeling
  • Occupational Health and Safety
  • Interior Architecture Project Management
  • Professional and portfolio Practices

Courses for architecture major 

  • Architectural history 
  • Architectural design 
  • Architectural engineering 
  • Environmental design 
  • Environmental science 
  • Architecture 
  • Working Drawing 
  • Arts 
  • Interior architecture 
  • Landscape architecture 
  • Design process and communication

Fields of work for graduates of the interior architecture major 

Fields of work for graduates of the interior architecture major include:

  • Interior Designers
  • Home decoration companies.
  • Brands of interior decoration.
  • Commercial and Industrial Designers
  • 3D Visualizer - Renderer
  • Restaurant Designer
  • Designer for Hospitality
  • Retail Designer
  • Postsecondary Architecture Teachers
  • Architectural and Civil Drafters
  • Architects
  • Building information modeling (BIM) coordinator
  • Project manager 
  • Sustainability coordinator
  • Design assistant
  • Building code specialist
  • Construction project coordinator
  • Urban planner

Fields of work for graduates of the architecture major 

Graduates of an interior architecture major have a variety of career opportunities in the field of interior design, architecture, and related industries. 

Some common fields of work for graduates with a degree in interior architecture include:

  • Graphic designer 
  • Framer 
  • Project coordinator 
  • Interior designer 
  • Lighting consultant 
  • Computer aided design (CAD) designer
  • Architectural drafter 
  • Professor 
  • Restoration manager
  • Architectural technologist
  • Archivist
  • Industrial designer 
  • Landscape architect
  • Urban planner 
  • Building architecture
  • Structural designer
  • Architectural historian
  • Project manager 
  • Computer aided design (CAD) detailer
  • Researcher

Fields of work for graduates of the architecture major

Skills that an interior architecture engineer must have 

Students who are interested in Differences between interior architecture and architecture, usually ask about skills that an interior architecture engineer must have.

Interior architecture engineers require a unique set of skills to succeed in their field, including:

  • Creativity 
  • Spatial awareness 
  • Knowledge of Building Codes and Regulations
  • Great communication skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Creative problem-solving skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Time management
  • Adaptability to new technology
  • Ability to use sustainable design tools, like LEED,Revit, SketchUp, and AutoCAD
  • Strong leadership skills
  • Ability to make smart, quick decisions
  • Ability to manage project budgets and finances

Skills that an architect must have 

Architects play a crucial role in designing and overseeing the construction of buildings and structures. To excel in this profession, architects need to possess a diverse set of skills, including:

  • Creative thinking
  • Visual design
  • Drafting
  • Drawing
  • Project management
  • Analysis skills
  • Mathematical and engineering skills
  • Computer programming
  • Software modeling
  • Ability to collaborate
  • Attention to detail
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Organizational capability
  • Communication skills
  • Client management
  • Leadership
  • Feedback
  • Adaptability
  • Entrepreneurship

Salaries of interior architecture graduates 

Now, we come to the most important item in the Differences between interior architecture and architecture which is the salaries.

Interior architecture can be a rewarding and potentially high-paying career, especially for professionals with the right skills, experience, and expertise. 

Salary of interior architecture engineer range between 44.140₺-148,300₺ every month.

Salaries of architecture engineer graduates 

The salary of architecture engineering graduates can vary depending on factors such as 

  • Location
  • Level of experience
  • Type of employer 
  • Specialization within the field. 

Here are some general salary ranges for architecture engineering graduates:

Entry-Level Positions

$40,000 to $60,000 per year.

Mid-Level Positions

$60,000 to $90,000 per year.

Experienced architecture engineering graduates with advanced skills and leadership responsibilities

More than $90,000 annually. 

Senior positions

$90,000 to $150,000 or more.

How to become an interior architect? 

After knowing the Differences between interior architecture and architecture and deciding which degree you want, you should ask how to become an interior architect or architect.

Becoming an interior architect involves a combination of education, experience, and licensure. Here are the steps you can take to pursue a career as an interior architect:

  1. Earn a Bachelor's Degree
  2. Gain Work Experience
  3. Consider a Master's Degree
  4. Obtain Licensure by passing the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam or a similar licensing examination specific to your location.
  5. Build a Portfolio showcasing your design projects, concepts, and technical abilities. 
  6. Stay Updated on Industry Trends
  7. Develop Soft Skills  such as communication, collaboration, problem-solving, and time management. These skills are essential for working effectively with clients, contractors, and other team members.
  8. Seek Professional Certification such as the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) or the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) to demonstrate your expertise and commitment to the profession.

How to become an architect? 

Becoming an architect typically involves completing a combination of education, practical experience, and licensure. Here are the general steps to become an architect:

1. Education 

Earning a professional degree in architecture but the program should be accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). 

Common degree options include :

  • a Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch) 
  • a Master of Architecture (M.Arch). 

2. Internship 

After completing a degree in architecture, aspiring architects typically need to gain practical experience through an internship or architectural apprenticeship program.

3. Examination 

In most jurisdictions, architects must pass the Architect Registration Examination (ARE) to become licensed. 

The ARE is a series of exams that assess candidates' knowledge and skills in various areas of architecture, including site planning, building design, construction documents, and project management.

4. Licensure 

Once you have completed the required education, practical experience, and passed the ARE, you can apply for licensure from the state licensing board where you plan to practice. 

5. Continuing Education to maintain your professional credentials. 

6. Specialization 

Architects can choose to specialize in specific areas of the field, such as sustainable design, historic preservation, healthcare facilities, or urban planning. Specialization may require additional education, training, or certification.

7. Professional Development 

Throughout their careers, architects can pursue professional development opportunities such as joining industry organizations, attending conferences and workshops, and networking with other professionals in the field.

What is the Role of an Architect? 

The role of an architect is multifaceted and involves a combination of design, technical expertise, project management, and communication skills,in addition to:

  1. Designing buildings and spaces that fulfill the requirements and vision of their clients.
  2. Architects need to have a strong understanding of building codes, regulations, construction techniques, and structural systems. They work closely with engineers and other professionals to ensure that their designs are structurally sound, energy-efficient, and compliant with building standards.
  3. Project Management
  4. Architects must be able to present their designs clearly through drawings, models, and presentations.
  5. In today's environmentally conscious world, architects are increasingly focused on incorporating sustainable design principles into their projects. This includes using eco-friendly materials, optimizing energy efficiency, and designing buildings that minimize their environmental impact.
  6. Problem-Solving
  7. Client Relationships to understand their needs, preferences, and constraints. 

What is the Role of an  Interior Architect? 

An interior architect is a professional who specializes in the design and planning of interior spaces within buildings. They work closely with clients, architects, engineers, and other stakeholders to create functional, aesthetically pleasing, and well-designed interiors. 

The role of the interior architect includes the following :

1. Space Planning by analyzing the layout, flow, and functionality of interior spaces to create efficient and effective design solutions that meet the needs of the occupants.

2. Interior architects focus on the aesthetic and decorative aspects of interior spaces, including 

  • Color schemes
  • Materials
  • Finishes
  • Furniture
  • Lighting
  • Accessories.

3. Building Codes and Regulations to ensure that their designs comply with relevant laws and guidelines to protect the health, safety, and welfare of occupants.

4. Client Communication to understand their needs, preferences, and budget constraints. 

5. Material Selection, finishes, and furnishings that enhance the functionality and aesthetics of interior spaces. 

6. Like architects, interior architects are increasingly focused on incorporating sustainable design principles into their projects. They may recommend energy-efficient lighting, eco-friendly materials, and other environmentally conscious design strategies to create healthier and more sustainable interior spaces.


While the Differences between interior architecture and architecture, they often collaborate closely on projects to ensure that the exterior and interior design of a building are cohesive and harmonious. Together, they work to create spaces that are both aesthetically pleasing and functional for their intended use.


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