Interior Design Associate Degree Programs

Interior design associate's degree programs prepare students for entry-level positions in interior design, though a bachelor's degree is often needed to become an interior designer. Read about the courses in an associate's degree program in interior design, online availability and career information. Schools offering Interior Design degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Does an Interior Design Associate's Degree Program Involve?

An interior design program will show you how to create spaces and environments that influence the health, productivity and enjoyment of the people who live and work in those environments. Completion of a program can lead to an Associate of Arts or Associate of Applied Science in Interior Design. A program usually consists of 60-72 credits. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), an associate's degree can qualify you for an entry-level position as an assistant to an interior designer (www.bls.gov).

Common Coursework Interior design fundamentals and concepts, computer-aided drafting and design (CADD) for interior design, color theory, lighting, architectural model making
Online Availability Fully online programs are rare, but certain online courses are often available
Career Information Job outlook: 4% increase (2014-2024); average salary: $54,850 (2014)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Will I Learn During a Program?

Typical courses you might encounter during an associate's degree program include interior design fundamentals and concepts, computer-aided drafting and design (CADD) for interior design, color theory, lighting, architectural model making and estimating. Programs include a number of studio sections, during which space planning concepts and visualizations can be put into practice. You may also have an opportunity to complete an internship with a school-affiliated business, retail establishment or design firm.

Following graduation, you may qualify for an apprenticeship program. Apprenticeship programs can last from 1-3 years and can serve to fulfill some of the work experience requirements for certification. Credits you earn through an associate's degree program are also often transferable to a Bachelor of Fine Arts program with a major in interior design.

What Online Opportunities Can I Find?

Because of the necessity of hands-on training with interior spaces, completely online programs are rare. While you may have a chance to complete a certain number of courses online, studio sections and internships must be completed in person. You might be able to complete interior design readings and assignments online or in the evening while you serve your internship during the day.

What Are the Employment Projections?

The BLS projected interior design employment positions to increase 4% from 2014-2024. The mean annual wage for interior designers was $54,850 as of May 2014. With a growing interest in aesthetics and modernization, the need for interior designers is expected to grow. As the country's older population increases, healthcare facilities must be modernized, re-configured and adapted to cater to demands. In addition, in order to attract customers, businesses like hotels and restaurants may feel the need to remodel and upgrade. The downside is that the demand for interior designers can fluctuate with the economy.

Although certification by itself is voluntary, it can help enhance your chances of employment and advancement beyond the level of assistant. In addition, many states require interior designers to be certified, registered or licensed. With an associate's degree and 3-4 years of appropriate work experience, you may be eligible to sit for a qualifying examination. The National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) administers a variety of certification exams for interior designers (www.ncidq.org). Those states that require licensure often use the NCIDQ examination as the standard for granting a license, but you'll want to check with your specific state just in case.

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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