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Become An Assistant Designer

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Working As An Assistant Designer

  • Thinking Creatively
  • Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Stressful

  • $55,536

    Average Salary

What Does An Assistant Designer Do

Architects plan and design houses, factories, office buildings, and other structures.

Duties

Architects typically do the following:

  • Meet with clients to determine objectives and requirements for structures
  • Give preliminary estimates on cost and construction time
  • Prepare structure specifications
  • Direct workers who prepare drawings and documents
  • Prepare scaled drawings, either with computer software or by hand
  • Prepare contract documents for building contractors
  • Manage construction contracts
  • Visit worksites to ensure that construction adheres to architectural plans
  • Seek new work by marketing and giving presentations

People need places to live, work, play, learn, shop, and eat. Architects are responsible for designing these places. They work on public or private projects and design both indoor and outdoor spaces. Architects can be commissioned to design anything from a single room to an entire complex of buildings.

Architects discuss the objectives, requirements, and budget of a project with clients. In some cases, architects provide various predesign services, such as feasibility and environmental impact studies, site selection, cost analyses, and design requirements.

Architects develop final construction plans after discussing and agreeing on the initial proposal with clients. These plans show the building’s appearance and details of its construction. Accompanying these plans are drawings of the structural system; air-conditioning, heating, and ventilating systems; electrical systems; communications systems; and plumbing. Sometimes, landscape plans are included as well. In developing designs, architects must follow state and local building codes, zoning laws, fire regulations, and other ordinances, such as those requiring easy access to buildings for people who are disabled.

Computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) and building information modeling (BIM) have replaced traditional drafting paper and pencil as the most common methods for creating designs and construction drawings. However, hand-drawing skills are still required, especially during the conceptual stages of a project and when an architect is at a construction site.

As construction continues, architects may visit building sites to ensure that contractors follow the design, adhere to the schedule, use the specified materials, and meet work-quality standards. The job is not complete until all construction is finished, required tests are conducted, and construction costs are paid.

Architects may also help clients get construction bids, select contractors, and negotiate construction contracts.

Architects often collaborate with workers in related occupations, such as civil engineers, urban and regional planners, drafters, interior designers, and landscape architects.

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How To Become An Assistant Designer

There are typically three main steps to becoming a licensed architect: completing a professional degree in architecture, gaining relevant experience through a paid internship, and passing the Architect Registration Examination.

Education

In all states, earning a professional degree in architecture is typically the first step to becoming an architect. Most architects earn their professional degree through a 5-year Bachelor of Architecture degree program, intended for students with no previous architectural training. Many earn a master’s degree in architecture, which can take 1 to 5 years in addition to the time spent earning a bachelor’s degree. The amount of time required depends on the extent of the student’s previous education and training in architecture.

A typical bachelor’s degree program includes courses in architectural history and theory, building design with an emphasis on computer-aided design and drafting (CADD), structures, construction methods, professional practices, math, physical sciences, and liberal arts. Central to most architectural programs is the design studio, where students apply the skills and concepts learned in the classroom to create drawings and three-dimensional models of their designs.

Currently, 34 states require that architects hold a professional degree in architecture from one of the 123 schools of architecture accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). State licensing requirements can be found at the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). In the states that do not have that requirement, applicants can become licensed with 8 to 13 years of related work experience in addition to a high school diploma. However, most architects in these states still obtain a professional degree in architecture.

Training

All state architectural registration boards require architecture graduates to complete a lengthy paid internship—generally 3 years of experience—before they may sit for the Architect Registration Examination. Most new graduates complete their training period by working at architectural firms through the Intern Development Program (IDP), a program run by NCARB that guides students through the internship process. Some states allow a portion of the training to occur in the offices of employers in related careers, such as engineers and general contractors. Architecture students who complete internships while still in school can count some of that time toward the 3-year training period.

Interns in architectural firms may help design part of a project. They may help prepare architectural documents and drawings, build models, and prepare construction drawings on CADD. Interns may also research building codes and write specifications for building materials, installation criteria, the quality of finishes, and other related details. Licensed architects will take the documents that interns produce, make edits to them, finalize plans, and then sign and seal the documents.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

All states and the District of Columbia require architects to be licensed. Licensing requirements typically include completing a professional degree in architecture, gaining relevant experience through a paid internship, and passing the Architect Registration Examination.

Most states also require some form of continuing education to keep a license, and some additional states are expected to adopt mandatory continuing education. Requirements vary by state but usually involve additional education through workshops, university classes, conferences, self-study courses, or other sources.

A growing number of architects voluntarily seek certification from NCARB. This certification makes it easier to become licensed across states, because it is the primary requirement for reciprocity of licensing among state boards that are NCARB members. In 2014, approximately one-third of all licensed architects had the certification.

Advancement

After many years of work experience, some architects advance to become architectural and engineering managers. These managers typically coordinate the activities of employees and may work on larger construction projects.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Architects must understand the content of designs and the context in which they were created. For example, architects must understand the locations of mechanical systems and how those systems affect building operations.

Communication skills. Architects share their ideas, both in oral presentations and in writing, with clients, other architects, and workers who help prepare drawings. Many also give presentations to explain their ideas and designs.

Creativity. Architects design the overall look of houses, buildings, and other structures. Therefore, the final product should be attractive and functional.

Organizational skills. Architects often manage contracts. Therefore, they must keep records related to the details of a project, including total cost, materials used, and progress.

Technical skills. Architects need to use CADD technology to create plans as part of building information modeling (BIM).

Visualization skills. Architects must be able to see how the parts of a structure relate to each other. They also must be able to visualize how the overall building will look once completed.

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Assistant Designer jobs

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Assistant Designer Career Paths

Assistant Designer
Graphic Designer Project Manager Program Manager
Business Development Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Graphic Designer Marketing Manager General Manager
Chief Executive Officer
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Designer Art Director Marketing Manager
Communications Director
7 Yearsyrs
Product Developer Production Manager Art Director
Contract Designer
6 Yearsyrs
Associate Designer Design Technician Designer
Design Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Consultant Senior Software Engineer
Development Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Interior Designer Design Manager Project Manager
Director
8 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager Business Developer
Entrepreneur
5 Yearsyrs
Freelance Designer Creative Director Marketing Director
Founder
5 Yearsyrs
Product Developer Marketing Manager Account Director
Group Director
9 Yearsyrs
Interior Designer
Interior Designer/Project Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Designer Senior Designer
Lead Designer
5 Yearsyrs
Visual Merchandiser Sales Manager Managing Partner
Manager/Partner
7 Yearsyrs
Freelance Designer Senior Designer Creative Director
Marketing Director
7 Yearsyrs
Designer Project Manager Program Manager
Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Designer Creative Director Marketing Director
President/Chief Executive Officer
10 Yearsyrs
Design Technician Designer Senior Designer
Principal Designer
10 Yearsyrs
Design Technician Design Drafter Architectural Designer
Senior Architectural Designer
9 Yearsyrs
Associate Designer Designer
Senior Designer
6 Yearsyrs
Visual Merchandiser Interior Designer Senior Designer
Senior Designer/Project Manager
8 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Owner & Designer 5.7 years
Principal Designer 4.5 years
Interior Designer 4.2 years
Sweater Designer 4.1 years
Senior Designer 4.0 years
Textile Designer 3.7 years
Furniture Designer 3.5 years
Lead Designer 3.3 years
Head Designer 3.3 years
Graphic Designer 3.2 years
Fashion Designer 3.1 years
Designer 3.0 years
Creative Designer 2.9 years
Apparel Designer 2.8 years
Designer, Printer 2.8 years
Set Designer 2.5 years
Men's Designer 2.5 years
Dress Designer 2.4 years
Freelance Designer 2.3 years
Associate Designer 2.2 years
Assistant Designer 2.0 years
Junior Designer 1.6 years
Design Internship 0.6 years
Top Employers Before
Internship 20.9%
Designer 5.1%
Assistant 3.3%
Cashier 2.5%
Server 2.2%
Volunteer 2.2%
Top Employers After
Designer 15.5%
Internship 5.2%
Assistant 1.9%

Assistant Designer Demographics

Gender

Female

70.2%

Male

24.4%

Unknown

5.4%
Ethnicity

White

70.5%

Asian

14.3%

Hispanic or Latino

12.8%

Unknown

1.8%

Black or African American

0.7%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

38.0%

French

11.8%

Chinese

9.9%

Mandarin

7.6%

Italian

7.0%

Japanese

3.6%

Cantonese

3.4%

Korean

3.2%

German

3.2%

Portuguese

2.8%

Russian

1.7%

Hindi

1.3%

Vietnamese

1.1%

Greek

0.9%

Polish

0.9%

Arabic

0.9%

Turkish

0.8%

Dutch

0.6%

Hebrew

0.6%

Bengali

0.6%
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Assistant Designer Education

Schools

Fashion Institute of Technology

33.2%

Savannah College of Art and Design

10.8%

Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising

10.7%

Parsons the New School for Design

7.7%

Academy of Art University

4.4%

Drexel University

3.7%

Syracuse University

2.8%

International Academy of Design and Technology

2.5%

Rhode Island School of Design

2.5%

Otis College of Art and Design

2.4%

Pratt Institute-Main

2.3%

Kent State University

2.2%

Miami International University of Art and Design

2.1%

University of North Texas

2.0%

Virginia Commonwealth University

1.9%

Michigan State University

1.8%

Florida State University

1.8%

University of Delaware

1.8%

University of Cincinnati

1.7%

San Francisco State University

1.7%
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Majors

Graphic Design

38.1%

Interior Design

19.2%

Fine Arts

7.8%

Business

4.9%

Specialized Sales And Merchandising

4.3%

Architecture

3.1%

Apparel And Textiles

2.6%

Communication

2.5%

Marketing

2.2%

Interior Architecture

1.9%

Design And Visual Communication

1.9%

Psychology

1.8%

Theatre

1.5%

Mechanical Engineering

1.4%

Photography

1.4%

Drafting And Design

1.4%

Education

1.1%

Liberal Arts

1.0%

English

1.0%

Computer Science

0.9%
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Degrees

Bachelors

54.9%

Other

14.9%

Associate

14.6%

Masters

10.9%

Certificate

3.2%

Diploma

0.7%

Doctorate

0.6%

License

0.1%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Assistant Designer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Assistant Actuary, Prod Design Pacific Life Insurance Company Aliso Viejo, CA May 16, 2015 $113,400
Assistant Actuary, Prod Design Pacific Life Insurance Company Aliso Viejo, CA May 16, 2015 $113,300
Assistant Actuary, Prod Design Pacific Life Insurance Company Aliso Viejo, CA May 16, 2015 $110,200
Assistant Designer VC Footwear, LLC New York, NY Feb 02, 2016 $61,402 -
$61,800
Assistant Designer The Gap, Inc. New York, NY Sep 15, 2015 $61,069 -
$86,800
Assistant Designer Victoria's Secret Stores, LLC Reynoldsburg, OH Sep 27, 2013 $60,300
Assistant Designer Levi Strauss & Co. San Francisco, CA Oct 09, 2016 $60,000
Assistant Designer Perry Ellis International, Inc. New York, NY Jan 30, 2014 $56,250
Assistant Designer The Gap, Inc. San Francisco, CA Aug 25, 2015 $56,000 -
$86,800
Assistant Designer Gap, Inc. San Francisco, CA Jan 09, 2016 $56,000 -
$90,000
Assistant Designer, Lauren Accessories Ralph Lauren Corporation New York, NY Mar 22, 2013 $50,000
Assistant Designer, Lauren Accessories Ralph Lauren Corporation New York, NY Mar 23, 2016 $50,000
Assistant Designer WP Lavori USA Inc. New York, NY Oct 01, 2014 $50,000
Assistant Designer Amsale Aberra, LLC New York, NY Oct 01, 2014 $50,000
Assistant Designer American Eagle Outfitters Inc. New York, NY Sep 03, 2014 $50,000
Assistant Designer, Sweaters/Cut & Sew Wovens 21St. Century Survival LLC New York, NY Sep 13, 2015 $50,000
Assistant Designer, Accessories, Footwear & Neckwear, RRL Ralph Lauren Corporation New York, NY Oct 19, 2015 $50,000
Assistant Designer WP Lavori USA Inc. New York, NY Jan 31, 2014 $50,000
Assistant Designer Kate Spade LLC New York, NY Jun 30, 2016 $44,990
Senior Assistant Designer, Hangbags J.C. Penney Corporation, Inc. New York, NY Nov 24, 2014 $44,300 -
$70,700
Assistant Designer, Merchandising Nanako, Inc. New York, NY Sep 02, 2014 $43,827
Assistant Designer, Collection Knits & Sweaters John Varvatos Enterprises, Inc. New York, NY Sep 15, 2016 $43,100
Assistant Designer, Wovens Tory Burch, LLC New York, NY Sep 13, 2013 $43,000
Assistant Designer, Jewelry Marc Jacobs International LLC New York, NY Jul 09, 2016 $43,000 -
$53,000
Assistant Designer Focus Lighting Inc. New York, NY Sep 30, 2014 $42,500 -
$75,000

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Top Skills for An Assistant Designer

FabricSelectionAutoCADDesignDevelopmentTechPacksAdobeIllustratorAdobePhotoshopTrendResearchLineSheetsDesignDepartmentCustomerServicePresentationBoardsSpecialEventsPurchaseOrdersFloorPlansSpacePlanningDesignProcessProductDevelopmentLabDipsPhotoShootsDesignProjects

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Top Assistant Designer Skills

  1. Fabric Selection
  2. Auto CAD
  3. Design Development
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Space planning, product selection, fabric selection, and space solutions for any type of home or budget.
  • Prepared routine drafting work in preparation of final construction drawings plans using computer programs like Auto Cad.
  • Keep track and log incoming samples and fabric headers for design development.
  • Organized trim department using Excel and Access databases and prepared tech packs for overseas production.
  • Created line sheets for the Fall 2010, Holiday 2010, and Spring 2010 women's collection utilizing Adobe Illustrator.

Top Assistant Designer Employers

Assistant Designer Videos

Career Advice on becoming an Assistant Designer by Jeni B (Full Version)

Career Advice on becoming an Assistant Designer by Jeni B (Highlights)

Career Advice on becoming a Textile Designer by Nicola B (Full Version)

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