Interior Design and Interior Decorating Associate Degree

Students looking for an education dedicated to the skills and expertise needed to pursue a career in design can opt for either an associate's degree in interior design or a certificate in interior decorating. After graduation, you'll be qualified to design spaces in educational, governmental, residential and commercial buildings. Get more info about the program, coursework and job outlook for this field. Schools offering Interior Design degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Makes Up an Interior Design and Decorating Program?

In interior design and interior decorating programs, you'll learn how to use design theory to create environments that are innovative, practical and efficient. To enroll, you'll need a high school diploma or equivalent. Degree programs take two years to complete, and an internship is typically required before graduation. Certificates are much shorter and can often be completed in a year or less. Graduates looking to become interior decorators will be ready to enter the workforce, while students in interior design will need to complete a bachelor's degree before seeking employment.

DegreesCertificate, associate's degree
Common CoursesColor, lighting, construction materials, furniture
Median Salary$38,668 for interior decorators (as of 2016); $48,840 for interior designers (as of 2015)

Source: PayScale.com, United States Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Kinds of Classes Will I Take?

In an associate's degree in interior design program, you'll be exposed to the cutting edge practices of the interior design business. You'll acquire and develop the drafting, business, and design skills that will allow you to begin your career in interior design. Course topics in these programs include:

  • History of interior design
  • Furniture
  • Color theory
  • Marketing & Sales
  • Residential design
  • Textiles and materials

Certificate programs in interior decorating are often shorter and can consist of as little as ten courses. The highly concentrated nature allows students to focus exclusively on subjects that directly related to their professional interests, with many courses devoted to the business side of running an interior decorating business. Students in these programs can take courses in the following areas:

  • Lighting techniques
  • Social media
  • Online advertising
  • Fabrics
  • Antiques

What Does the Job Market Look Like?

In January 2016, PayScale.com reported that interior decorators earned a median annual salary of $38,668, or $24 per hour. Although interior designers need a bachelor's degree at minimum rather than an associate's degree, these professionals enjoy a higher median salary of $48,840, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS also projects a 4% growth in employment opportunities for designers from 2014-2024.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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