While an architect is a licensed design professional, an architectural designer is not. An architectural designer is one step below an architect when it comes to experience. Before an architect approves AREs and obtains their license, she is an architectural designer. Architectural designers generally do the same work as architects, but without the same legal responsibilities.
They usually pay less because they haven't been licensed; however, there's no reason to suppose that a licensed architect will produce “better” works than an unlicensed one. They may have earned certificates, diplomas, or degrees in writing, but they have no training in design. Architectural designers can be people who have finished their studies and intend to get a license soon, or they can be people who don't want to get a license. Qualifications in related fields, such as product design, will allow you to move to an architectural office, where you can gain new knowledge and skills on the job.
Some construction projects don't require a licensed architect, and an architectural designer will work well, as long as that person doesn't claim to be an architect, which is a protected term. Therefore, strictly speaking of design skills, an architect and designer may be fully capable of creating a great design for you. Both architects and architectural designers are creative thinkers and understand how buildings are constructed and used. A structural engineer should review the designer's plans to ensure that the structure is safe and in tune with the interior design.
If you're not required to do so, you have more options and you need to decide what type of design professional is best for your specific situation. They create sketches, plans and technical drawings for customers and other professionals, such as engineers and lighting designers. Education, training, and architectural skills vary across the board, but generally, an architect learns about design and problem solving in school. So, if you only have an architectural license in Ohio, you can't call yourself an architect in Pennsylvania, and nothing that contains the word “architect,” in fact.
Working with a design professional is an investment (big or small), so you need to decide who can offer the most value for the cost. It tests architectural principles and processes, as well as technical knowledge related to health, safety and well-being. You can hire a local kitchen designer, a bathroom designer in your area, or a general interior designer, depending on your needs. The designs include furniture and materials for design based on your knowledge of trends and prices.