Organizations are always on the lookout for ways to keep costs low, and the allocation of building space is no exception. Many pay rent by the square foot, so it is in their best financial interest to use the space as efficiently as possible. The experts who help companies -- and home owners -- make efficient use of space are called space planners. Some are self-employed, while others are salaried employees. According to the Indeed.com job site, space planners earned average annual incomes of $46,000 as of 2014.
Space planners measure the dimensions of rooms to determine where to place cubicles, desks, equipment, and other furniture and fixtures in office buildings. They factor in the number of employees to calculate the space allotment for each workstation. Before arranging rooms, space planners create drawings of their plans by hand or computer -- often creating alternative solutions or modifications for workspace allotment and décor. To commence projects, space planners must familiarize themselves with building codes to ensure they are in compliance with all relevant regulations.
The work schedule for a space planner can vary, depending on her employer. Those who are employed by businesses usually work a regular Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. schedule. Space planners who work with residential customers may work day, evening and weekend hours. Some overtime is expected in this job because companies and clients often have deadlines for completing office floor plans. The numerous responsibilities and deadlines can create periodic stress for space planners.
Education and Qualifications
Most space planners have at least bachelor's degrees in interior design, interior architecture or architecture. Many employers also prefer candidates who have at least four or more years of office or workplace planning experience. Other important qualities are attention to detail, creativity, and organization, communication, visualization, problem-solving and computer skills.
Space planners can advance into senior space planner positions with one or more years of additional experience. Senior space planners averaged $47,000 per year as of 2014, according to Indeed. Space planners who decide to focus on interior design not only select and arrange furniture, they also select the color schemes and lighting styles for buildings and homes. Interior designers averaged $54,200 a year as of 2013, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Space planners can become architects if they have bachelor's degrees in architecture, but they must train as architect apprentices for three years. They are then required to take and pass the state licensing exam for architects through the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards. Architects design entire buildings rather than single interior spaces. They earned an average income of $79,650 in 2013, the BLS reports.
The BLS doesn't have a job category specific to space planners. For interior designers, it estimates a 13 percent increase in employment from 2012 to 2022, which is above the 11 percent projected growth rate for all occupations. Increases in demand for environmental-friendly and easily accessible offices and homes should increase jobs for interior designers and space planners.