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Associate of Applied Arts (AAA): Interior Design Degree Overview

Associate of Applied Arts (AAA) in Interior Design programs are not readily available; however, Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Interior Design programs are easier to find and offer an equivalent education.

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Essential Information

In Interior Design associate degree programs, students examine visual design concepts, technical theories, and tools used in interior designing. Upon completion of one of these two-year programs, students can present construction documents, create interiors, apply design principles, practice project management, and furnish interiors. Applicants must have a high school diploma or the equivalent.


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Associate in Applied Arts Degree in Interior Design

Through classroom lectures, design projects, and other hands-on learning opportunities, students develop their skills in designing a space. Other than design planning, some of the topics covered in a program may include:

  • Building construction techniques
  • Design materials
  • Computer-aided drafting
  • Lighting
  • Green designing
  • Textiles

Popular Career Options

Associate degree programs in interior design prepare graduates to become interior designers or to work in an interior design-related career, such as kitchen and bath design. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), an associate's degree typically prepares individuals to work as interior design assistants; however, more training is typically required to work as an interior designer (www.bls.gov). Associate's degree programs may prepare individuals for careers as:

  • Decorators
  • Stylists
  • Buyers
  • Product designers

Salary and Career Outlook

PayScale.com indicates that most assistant interior designers earned yearly wages of $24,252 to $47,651 as of January 2016. The BLS predicts that employment of interior designers will increase by 4% during the 2014-2024 decade.

Continuing Education Information

The BLS stated that most interior designers have a bachelor's degree and complete a formal apprenticeship program. Some colleges may allow students to transfer credits earned from an associate's degree program to a bachelor's degree program. Additionally, the BLS also noted that some states require interior designers to be licensed. Typically, licensure is gained through the completion of the National Council for Interior Design Qualification licensing exam, which requires applicants to hold six years of combined experience and education to qualify.

Even though it's not possible to pursue an AAA in interior design, an AAS provides students with the essential design skills they need for entry-level jobs in the field. Those who want to advance to more advanced positions can earn a bachelor's degree after they graduate.

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