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The Commercial Interiors Industry Guide

So, you’re interested in a career in the Commercial interiors industry. Excellent choice. You’re choosing a dynamic, exciting career path that is poised for growth into the future. When you make the decision to join this industry, you’re choosing a career with endless possibilities.  

Skills, talents and passions evolve. This industry provides opportunities to gain experience in different areas, learn new roles you may never have thought existed, and gives you flexibility for advancement in different disciplines – sales, marketing, product management, engineering, design, supply chain, logistics, finance….just to name a few.”   

– Heidi Fields, National Sales Director, Thinkspace Office / Hush Office

Roles Within the Industry


Do you love people, creating content and images that tell a story? 

Then a job in Marketing could be for you!


Marketing refers to the planning and implementation of various business activities designed to generate interest in a product or service, from advertising campaigns to brand management to social media.


In-Demand Skills and Traits:

  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Creativity
  • Analytical

I have had a fabulous career in the industry. It has taught me different skills that have allowed me to excel in my different roles throughout my career.  I have made so many friends through my career. I did not set out with aspirations to sell commercial office furniture but looking back I cannot imagine doing anything else.

– Michelle Warren, President, Catalyst Consulting Group

Compensation for Marketing Roles:

Compensation for positions in the industry varies greatly, based on geography, experience and the specific role and company. The Creative Group 2021 Salary Guide provides a look at hiring trends and starting salaries for almost 90 marketing positions. 


Do you want a career that offers you independence and control? You should consider a position in Sales!

Commercial Interiors Industry Image – 5

Those who choose a career in sales tend to stay within the sales side of the industry. Solomon Coyle, an organization that provides research, consulting and educational support to dealers, and has been monitoring industry trends for 20+ years, shares that the average years of experience with salespeople to be over 15 years.


In-Demand Skills and Traits:

  • Confident
  • Self-motivated
  • Results-oriented
  • Active listening

Compensation for Sales Roles:

For sales roles, primarily there are two main compensation structures: salary + incentive (bonus and/or commission), and commission-based compensation. There are very few sales compensation plans that are salary only. Generally, bonuses are paid out quarterly; while commissions are paid monthly. The earnings potential in sales is unlimited. According to Solomon Coyle, the average for an advanced salesperson is $147,000 USD per year. The highest earners average $304,000!


designer plays several key roles. Using elements like typography, illustration, photography and layouts, a designer always has an extremely creative mind that can absorb visual trends and deploy them in fresh and exciting ways.

INSIGHT: Design and Project Management are great points of career progression. These two roles are great feeder roles into other roles.


In-Demand Skills and Traits:

  • Creativity and practical ability
  • Drawing skills and strong visual awareness
  • An understanding of computer-aided design (CAD) and other technological advances

“The Interior Design Industry is magical. On every project there are teams of people working together to create this space that will invoke positive human emotion. Every detail from the color of the carpet, design of the paint, to the furniture chosen are there for a specific reason. These decisions leave the end user blissfully unaware as to everything that went into their space. They are left overwhelmingly happy, and that’s the magic within.”

– Christian Jones, A&D/ Marketing Manager, Linked Reps

Compensation for Design Roles:

According to the IIDA 2021 Interior Design Compensation Report, the average design professional reported an annual base salary of between $60,000 and $99,000, with higher reported salaries in the west and the northeast.  The 2021 findings show an overall increase in average salary from the previous report in 2019.  Employees of multidisciplinary design firms reported the highest increases in salary.

Project Management

Project Management is the process of leading the work of a team to achieve goals and meet success criteria at a specified time. The primary challenge of project management is to achieve all of the project goals within the given constraints.


In-Demand Skills and Traits:

  • Organizational and time-management skills
  • Effective communication
  • Program solving
  • Interpersonal skills

Compensation for Project Management Roles:

According to Solomon Coyle, the average starting salary varies greatly by role, level of experience, and other factors, including geography, however, the median starting salary for a Project Management role within the industry is $52,000.


Do any of these roles within the industry sound like a good fit for you? Learn about positions within the industry here. 

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