How do I Become a Design Coordinator?

Carol Francois
Carol Francois
Businesswoman talking on a mobile phone
Businesswoman talking on a mobile phone

The most important skills necessary to become a design coordinator include formal education, design experience, problem-solving skills and the ability to manage conflicting priorities. A design coordinator is responsible for working with clients to create or modify a product design. This type of work is found in interior designing, architecture, product development and more. Excellent attention to detail, interpersonal skills and a natural sense of color and style are critical for anyone who wants to become a design coordinator.

The most rewarding aspect of this type of work is to see the final product. For example, a design coordinator working in an architectural company will see his or designs and influences in the final product. Someone working directly with clients on interior design can enjoy the aesthetics of his or her work when the product is completed.

Community and technical colleges offer two- and three-year programs in interior designing, clothing designing and other related fields. There usually is a hands-on component to these programs, providing the opportunity to gain essential work experience. In addition to large colleges, specialized fashion or architecture schools also offer designer programs. Review the admission requirements with care, because many schools expect candidates to submit a full portfolio of their designs.

For many people who want to become design coordinators, work experience in this field is first acquired through work organized by the school. In this industry, it is very common to work long hours for low pay in order to gain the necessary understanding of what the design coordinator does. This role involves a great deal of interaction between suppliers, designers and clients.

For anyone who is going to become a design coordinator, the bulk of his or her daily tasks will involve solving problems. Material shipments, changing orders and coordination of multiple resources are all issues that will need to be resolved. The skills needed are best learned through experience, and a response that might work in one industry does not necessarily translate into others. For example, raised voices are quite common in commercial kitchens but not in the fashion industry.

Anyone who wants to become a design coordinator must be able to work with conflicting priorities. In the creative industry, there often are peak periods of frenzied activities, following by slower periods. Managing the pressure and creating a consistently high-quality output under time constraints is an essential part of this role. The salary level for a design coordinator is not very high, but there are opportunities to become a designer or administrative manager after a period of time.

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