Throughout their studies, students in interior design BA programs participate in design studio sessions where they work to solve design issues for a variety of settings. Completion of a high school diploma or a GED generally is required for admission to such programs. Most bachelor's degree programs take four years of full time coursework to complete. Students study several concepts from design to color to marketing. Design studio practicums are often required.
Bachelor of Arts in Interior Design
From architectural history to methods and materials, courses in an interior design program can help students create rooms that meet their client's specifications. Students study floor plan design, interior design graphics and interior lighting. Other common courses include:
- Design rendering
- Color and composition
- Environmental technology
- Contract documents
- Global design interface
A bachelor's degree in interior design is usually the minimum education required for individuals who want to become interior designers. These programs can prepare graduates for careers in several areas of interior design. Popular specialties within the field include:
- Residential designer
- Home theater designer
- Kitchen designer
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that employment opportunities for interior designers will rise by 4% during the 2014-2024 decade, which is slower than average compared to all occupations. In 2015, the BLS reports, the median salary for interior designers was $48,840 per year. The highest-paying states for interior designers at that time included Washington DC, Rhode Island and New York.
Continuing Education and Professional Credentials
Those who seek further education might pursue a Master of Arts in Interior Design. These 2-year programs often require that students complete an internship, meet research requirements and complete a thesis in order to graduate.
The National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) administers the exam to qualify interior designers for licensure in states that require it. The exam covers topics like building codes and project coordination and includes a full-day test of an interior designer's skills (www.ncidq.org). Students must have at least six years of combined education and professional experience to qualify for the exam.
The National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) offers voluntary certification at multiple levels for professionals who specialize in designing kitchen and bathroom spaces (www.nkba.org). Options include Associate Kitchen and Bath Designer, Certified Kitchen Designer and Certified Bath Designer.
Students can pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Interior Design to obtain training in different aspects of design and prepare to work as various kinds of interior designers. Graduates can expect positive job growth and may pursue specialty certifications or advanced degrees in the field.