Australia vs Canads for Interior Architects/designers


Hi everybody

Im about to make the most important decision of my life. I got permanent residency of Canada and moved to Toronto 3 month ago and just after 2 weeks I got a 55k job in a very well-known company as a Intermediate Interior designer. I just received my Australia PR yesterday aswell. Its now a dellima to stay in Toronto or go to live in Aus/ Melbourne or Sydney (or wherever). Anybody has any idea or been to similar position?

I'de appreciate it if you give ur opinion cause its a big help. Soecialy if you have experience living in one of these countries.

More info about me:

31 year old. Male. Married. No kid (and will not have any)

 Interior designer but have masters degree in Architecture. Not registered yet in Ontario. 

Have 2 brothers one lives in Perth/Aus and the other Brisbane.

I care more about job oportunities first and then other factors.

Mar 28, 18 9:38 am
Non Sequitur

Construction in Ontario is skyrocketing right now.  Get licensed as an architect and move up through the ranks.  55k/y (CAD) for an interior designer is on the high end of the scale but note that there is a ceiling at that position unless you move into PM roles.

I know nothing about Australia outside of dingos and their insatiable appetite for babies. 

Mar 28, 18 9:46 am

any other opinion guys? Australia or Canada? Which would you prefer?

Mar 28, 18 12:44 pm
Non Sequitur

No snakes in Canada.


No snow is I look out my window at the 2m of snow on the ground and with an additional 10cms on the way tonight

Non Sequitur

^Living in the prairies?


Northern Alberta, more north than Edmonton


Sorry eh

Non Sequitur

North Alberta... rough, but at least it's not Winnipeg.


Hey almost all our snow is gone by now! Kinda sorta.


April 2, current temp. -24C, feels like -30 but hey its going to warm up to -8 today


That will have to be Australia, duh, because the cooking in Australian MasterChef is so much better than in the Canadian version. Also, your brothers live there which should be nice(r).

Mar 28, 18 3:01 pm
Non Sequitur

masterchef without Gordon is not masterchef.


Yes it is, he's only hosting the inferior American franchise, the best cooking is done in MasterChef's without Gordon in it, e.g. the real MasterChef (UK version) and obviously the Australian one.

Non Sequitur

Those would be fighting words if I cared about the show... but I don't. Does every Australian masterchef dish include marmite 3 ways?


Your loss :) I haven't seen a marmite dish there yet, would love to see it in a dessert though.


Tnx but food is not my priority. Job opportunity is that


A decent food culture is an obvious signifier for the other good things in life such as design and architecture. It shows an appreciation for more than just the bare basics in life and a willingness to go that extra mile. Just think about it for a second and you'll see I'm right. Also what point is a "nice" job in a location where you can't find a nice place to eat a decent meal after work with the misses or on weekends? What's the difference between sitting behind a computermonitor 8+ hrs a day in Canada or Australia? Not so much, but it's those other 16 hrs that make all the difference. Well, at least to me they would, it's your life :)


Yeah. You're right. I didn't mean that food is not important. But Im original Persian and we have already our own delicious food which I can find in Aus as well as Can. So thats not a factor for me

Non Sequitur

but, poutine is king.


Generally speaking Toronto has pretty nasty buildings and crap ass details. I suppose the details are important in your case since you want to work in Interior Design. I only worked there for 6 months and then scrammed outta there bc I received better opportunities in Europe, but most projects are constantly butchered by budgets. Also the majority of projects are condo´s. I have never been to Australia but since you have family there might be something to consider. I have only seen some images of Australian architecture but I hear that they build better- maybe they care about construction and detailing more- I dunno. But Toronto is cold and damn expensive and a fairly mediocre City. I heard nice things about Melbourne. 

Mar 28, 18 4:54 pm

I have lived for more than a year in Perth before. The city is beatiful but no night life. And also there were few job openings there


Are you Canadian?


anyone knows anything about real job opportunities for a foreigner (im not a native English speaker) in Melbourne/Sydney? How much do they pay for someone like me? An Intermediate interior designer

Mar 28, 18 6:59 pm

How did you get PR in two countries at the same time?

Mar 28, 18 11:56 pm

Its not mandatory to live in a country to get its PR. I applied for both of them while I was living in none of them! It took around 3 years for both them.


And what is your opinion on the topic?


I am an architect in Melbourne, and know interior designers. You would be looking at around 45-55k aud for an entry level job.

I know little about Canada, but Melbourne in particular has a strong design culture, leaning towards the avant garde/post modern.

Sydney has a decent reputation also, but more a traditional /modernist type environment.

What sort of architecture do you prefer?

Mar 28, 18 11:57 pm

Im more into post modern design. Is that possible to live with that amount in Melbourne?


And is there enough job opening? Are there many designers looking for job


Living depends on lifestyle expectations, but yes- possible. A lot of multi residential (apartment) buildings are being designed, I would think a lot of interior jobs in that sector. Also a decent hospitality/fitout sector, but that is more competitive.


Tnx. Useful


Go where your family is but don't forget 21 of the 25 most venomous snakes in the world live in Australia.  Add to it poisonous spiders, insects, jelly fish, sharks in the water. :D 

Mar 29, 18 7:04 am
Non Sequitur

That is correct as I noted earlier. The worst we have up here north of the border are clueless American tourists. The beer s

Non Sequitur

Stupid phone. The beer is better is the gauntlet I’m throwing down.


Im not gonna live in bush! They are not in metropolitan area anyway


Canadian animals can kill you too:

Mar 29, 18 9:32 am
Non Sequitur

Avoid poodles in Newfoundland. Got it.


And moose, avoid those assholes too, they're apparently your nation's deadliest animal...I think they even kill more people than those Aussie snakes and spiders.


please more advise for the job conditions

Mar 29, 18 9:37 am

Deadly animals and food, what more advise do you need?


​comparing interior design job, salary, future outlook, life quality


From Monocle: Top 25 Cities
1. Tokyo (for the 3rd time)
2. Vienna
3. Berlin/Munich
5. Melbourne
6. Copenhagen
7. Sydney
8. Zürich
9. Hamburg
10. Madrid
11. Stockholm
12. Kyoto
13. Helsinki
14. Fukuoka
15. Hong Kong
16. Lisbon
17. Barcelona
18. Vancouver
19. Dusseldorf
20. Amsterdam
21. Singapore
22. Auckland
23. Brisbane
24. Portland
25. Oslo


And I even forgot to highlight Brisbane.


I lived and worked in Melbourne for several years. It's an amazing city and an experience I look back on warmly. I don't know the exact job conditions now but all my friends there in architecture seem to be working and doing well. Great, diverse design culture for such a relatively small city. 

Biggest issue to finding work can be visa status but you shouldn't have any issues now that you've got PR. 

I haven't worked or been to Toronto but have experience working with wonderful folks in Vancouver. Really liked that experience and the city as well...

I think you can have a great career designing beautiful buildings in both places, with roughly the same amount of opportunity. Working conditions are probably generally about the same, salary about the same, healthcare excellent in both countries.

Not a right or wrong answer here. Obviously you already have a job in Toronto at a good rate, so safe option is to stay put. When you move there is always the issue of starting over in terms of growing roots and creating a network of friends and colleagues. One thing I'll say is that life is pretty long and just because you move to Oz or stay in N. America doesn't mean you can't move again in a few years with some more experience under your belt. I would recommend researching specific firms and reading up on the design culture in Australia vs Canada. Maybe your preferences there will help you lean one way or the other. Good luck 

Mar 30, 18 6:29 pm

Thank you for sharing your experience


and Tokyo is pretty awesome as well ;)

Mar 30, 18 6:35 pm

I know where I would go.

Apr 2, 18 11:26 am

Hello everyone,

I am an architect with 10 years experience,  from Iran, recently my husband and I decided to move to Australia, and as an Architect I don't know how can I find a job in Australia ? do I have to have some licence or something from Australia ? or I have to start as an CAD drafter or something ? 

Can anyone give some me advise, please :) 

Aug 26, 18 8:19 am

I am on a similar boat, I have a bachelors and masters degree from reputed colleges In America. And for over a year now I have been working at a large firm in Chicago that focuses on high rise/multifamily.

I am debating on moving to Toronto or Melbourne. How are the job prospects? Do they value American education? How is the work culture compared to a firm in the states?  


Nov 1, 18 5:55 am
Non Sequitur

Toronto is big. Lots of 100+ staff offices working all sorts of projects both locally and abroad. As long as you’re legally able to work and can adapt to Canadian codes and building practices, then there are really no hurdles to jump.

Non Sequitur

Culture wise, we’ll architect examinations are very streamlined and customized to our professional practice. Much easier to get licensed and far less beauracracy as the USA. Unpaid internships are also not a thing here as well as massive OT.

Non Sequitur

We’ll = our, apparently. Stupid phone.


Nnnnoooooo, totally disagree. The OAA exams are way more arduous than the ARE from my experience. Also less restrictive licensing requirements across the board.

Non Sequitur

Really? I've based my opinion on the various ARE comments other members here post. I'm willing to be wrong on this tho, and as a result feel superior by my more difficult testing success. 8-)


I'm a B.Arch Graduate looking to do my Masters in Architecture in either Canada or Australia. I have heard a lot about the job opportunities and scope in the field in Australia, but not as much in Canada. Is there lesser scope for architects in Canada? 

Oct 9, 19 5:41 am
Non Sequitur

It depends. Thanks for resurrecting an excellent thread.

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