Every building tells a story. A story not only created by bricks, soil and cement but by professionals like civil engineers, interior designers and architects who work hard to construct a building, a space to live. 

Nowadays, many students go for these courses. They have a flair for design and an artistic eye that inspires them to enter the world of architecture or interior design or civil engineering. Although these three courses are related to constructing buildings, planning, and designing structures, furniture, they are different from each other. The role of each professional and his/her contribution to building the space differs from each other. 

Due to having similar outcomes, students generally get confused between architecture, interior design & civil engineering. They don’t have a clear idea of these professions and well-defined roles that make them distinguishable from each other.

As a career counsellor or an educator, you could help students in finding the difference between architecture, interior design, and civil engineering. You could guide them through different professions and their job responsibilities. 

With the help of Ms. Darshana Aradhye, Founder At Sadh Careers, Pune, we have listed down the distinction between these three professions and how as a career counsellor, you could guide students in selecting the right course for them. Check out the difference between architecture, interior design, and civil engineering below:

Table of Contents

Who is an Architect?

An architect is a professional who plans and designs buildings. They are graduate or post-graduate people who are registered with the COA (Council of Architecture) and get their building plans sanctioned by the local development authority. 

They are highly trained professionals in the art and science of building design. Architects study for 5 years to earn a bachelor’s degree in architecture. They may study further to attain a master’s degree with a specialization in the field of landscape, urban design, etc.

Who is an Interior Designer?

An interior designer is a professional who blends art and science to create, restore, or readapt the inner space of a building. They create indoor spaces that satisfy the client’s needs for aesthetics, safety and function. From furniture placement, colour palettes, to decorations, interior designers take care of every aspect to satisfy the client’s requirements. 

They are like magicians holding a diploma/ degree of 6 months to 5 years and can turn out an indoor space such as an old office building into livable housing.

Who is a Civil Engineer?

Civil engineering is one of the oldest and most popular engineering disciplines. This profession planning, designing, constructing, and supervising infrastructures such as roads, dams, highways, bridges, hospitals, airports etc.

A civil engineer is someone who applies his/her scientific knowledge to improve an infrastructure that meets basic human needs. They are one of the most diverse professionals who could be seen working at construction sites, the aerospace industry, and designing jetliners also.

Recommended Read: Why Having a Role Model is Important For Your Student?

Comparison Between Architecture & Interior Design

There are various beautiful buildings around us, they are creations of Architects and Interior Designers. Both work in sync to make a building functional, pleasant and appealing.

Since both Architects and Interior Designers are creative professionals and have a similar work profile that involves designing, students often get confused between these overlapping professions. But both of them are very different career lines. 

Architects design buildings, while interior designers design the interiors of the building. Few key differences are :

S.No. Architect Interior Design 
1 An architect designs, reviews, and oversees the construction of buildings. He creates a structure in a given space that is both functional and attractive at the same time.  After a building is constructed, the responsibility of accessorizing and furnishing the empty spaces/rooms within the building is with the Interior Designer.
2 An architect works on the details that are present on the exterior of a building. An Interior Designer designs the interiors of a place and internally beautify the building space according to what it is meant for. 
3 Architect plans and designs the basic structure of the building that includes the placement of rooms, kitchen, dining room, bathrooms, garden, landscaping etc. Interior Designer designs and plans the interiors of the building – what will be the woodwork, fixtures, , colour scheme, placement of furniture, decoration etc. 
4 An architect is trained to create the structure of the building. They plan a layout of a building’s design, by applying knowledge of engineering forms, ventilation, lighting, structural systems. Interior Designer is trained to create the interiors of the building. They make interior spaces functional and beautiful by conceptualising designing furnishings, artworks, and accessories etc.
5 Architecture is a Professional degree course Interior Designing does not come under hardcore Professional courses.
6 An Architect can practice the Interior Designing profession. An Interior Designer can not practice Architecture as a profession. 
7 You need a license to practice architecture No license is required.
8 Architecture is a 5-year degree course Interior design can be practised after doing a training / Diploma / Degree course – (  6 months to 5 years)
9 You need to clear the Entrance Exam to get admission to the B.Arch course in good and recognised colleges in India. Very few top colleges providing degree courses require Entrance exams for Admissions. 
10 Eligibility – 10+2 in Science stream with Maths Eligibility – 10+2 in any stream. Though few top colleges providing degree courses require Science and Maths in 10+2
11 Some Top Colleges – IIT, Roorkee, Kharagpur, SPA, BITS Mesra Some Top Colleges – NID, CEPT University, JJ School of Arts

Comparison Between Architecture & Civil Engineering

Both civil engineering and architecture involve planning and designing structures. However, architecture focuses more on the artistry, look, and functionality of space while civil engineering focuses on the construction of such structures. The key differences are:

1 Duration: 4 years  Duration: 5 years
2 Eligibility: 10 +2 PCM Eligibility: !0+2 with Math 
3 Deals with mathematical and scientific aspects of a building. Deals with the look and other aesthetic aspects of designing the building. 
4 Equipped with a BTech/ BE can apply for jobs clearly. To practice as Architect, you need to register with the council of Architecture.
5 Deals with material used for the building and to design in such a way that it can hold its own weight  Deal with making the floor plan of the building and designing the shape of the building 
6 Deals with strength of the structure  Deals with Aesthetics of the structure

Suggest A Suitable Career Between These Three Courses: Identify Your Students’ Personalities & Interests

Using career assessment tools is a way to help a student in their careers exploration process. These assessments focus on different areas such as interest, personality and skills. A person’s personality generally takes on the form of career choice. These tests can suggest and give ideas about your psychological mindset that can simplify the process of career establishment. Selecting a career choice related to your personality can be a pleasant outcome for your life as you will be in a space where you are comfortable. The daily task of occupation can be paired well with the qualities of the person.

Civil Engineering

The personality type that a civil engineer generally has is ISTJ according to MBTI. People of this type often make good civil engineers because the job requires logic, sensibility and is earnestly traditional, they like to live in an organized manner and keep the environment regulated.

According to the Holland Code, civil engineers are investigative and realistic. Investigative means they are curious and hence like to observe, understand and make decisions; they like to spend time alone. They are practical as they like to work with things, outdoors or on a hands-on project.


An Architect is a person who has introverted, intuitive thinking and judging personality traits. These people love perfecting the details of life, applying creativity and rationality to everything they do.

According to Hollands Code, they are IAR – investigative, artistic, realistic people who prefer to think, observe, organize and understand information. They work with data, work on ideas and things. They tend to be creative, open, inventive, original, perceptive, sensitive, independent and emotional. They tend to focus on activities requiring motor coordination skills and strength and prefer to work on a problem to provide a suitable solution.

Interior Designer

According to MBIT, the personality type of these professionals is ENFJ. This personality trait has a good sense of eye for colours, ambience and style. Details are important and the organization is fundamental for them.

People of this personality type are caring, inspiring, motivational and empathetic. They care deeply about the people around them. They have a positive, idealistic outlook. They love to help others, improve themselves and solve their problems. They tend to be decisive and good planners.

According to Hollands Code, they have skills like AES i.e. artistic, entrepreneur, social. These are the people who like to work with ideas and things. They tend to be creative, open, inventive, original, perceptive, sensitive, independent and emotional. They like to work with people and data and are understanding co-operative, and responsible.

These are the skills and personality types that could help you understand a suitable career for your students. If you want them to explore more and polish their skills, you could ask them to:

  1. Attend Summer programs related to design
  2. Read Magazines on civil engineering, Architecture and Interior designing
  3. Do some DIY projects
  4. Attend a drawing school
  5. Play Architecture games
  6. Photography workshops
  7. Workshops on design thinking 
  8. VIP courses like Architecture
  9. Learn software related to designing

These are some tips that could help you understand your students’ personality type and skills. After knowing their interests and assessing their abilities, you could suggest to them the best suitable career between architecture, interior design, and civil engineering.

If you are passionate about guiding students on making the right career choices, kick start your career with the Global Career Counsellor Program. This is first of its kind career counselling online program that helps individuals to become professional career counsellors.

Know More About the Program

Darshana Aradhye
Darshana Aradhye
Trained Global Career Counsellor, Founder at Sadh Careers, Pune | + posts

Ms. Aradhye is a trained Global Career Counsellor who has over 15 years of experience in the field of education and counselling. She has worked with multiple schools and delivered various workshops. She is a skilled professional in Curriculum Development, Public Speaking, Teachers Training, Management, and Strong Community & Social Services. She has worked with several well-known organizations from being a counsellor to educator to academic head to Head Mistress to Principal in reputed schools of Ahmedabad.

Assistant Manager - Content Marketing | + posts

Parul is an enthusiast writer, currently working at Univariety. Despite being from a technical educational background, she started her career in writing because of her passion. She loves sketching and doodling while enjoying a cup of black coffee. When she is not writing, she likes watching movies, travelling, and exploring new places.


  1. Avatar

    Parul Sharma…Well written…Often people get confused to define or differentiate between these professions…

    • Avatar
      Shagufta Mulla Reply

      Well described as always parents and students get confused regarding this 3 professions so this clearly explained the differentiation of the professions well exolained👌🏻👏🏼👍🏻

  2. Avatar
    Shagufta Mulla Reply

    Well explained mam as always parents and students get confused between these 3 profession your explaination is very well structured and the differentiation is clear so this will be really helpful in selection of the professiona as a career 👌🏻👍🏻👏🏼

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