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Interior Decorating: Trade School Diploma Summary

Students in an interior decorating diploma program study the aesthetic guidelines that decorators follow, such as the basic principles of design and color selection. They gain hands-on training with computer-aided design (CAD) software to create floor plans.

Essential Information

In an interior decorating trade school diploma program, students gain experience through trips to home décor stores, flooring dealers and furniture retailers, in addition to historical buildings and model homes.

In most states, an interior designer must pass a licensing examination administered by the National Council for Interior Design Qualification and have a designated combination of professional experience and education. A decorator doesn't need a license, but they do have the option to become certified by passing an examination.

To enroll, a high school diploma is usually required, but some programs look for placement test scores. Applicants must usually must score at least at a 9th-grade level on admissions tests in reading, math and English language comprehension.


Interior Decorating Trade School Diploma

Students of interior decorating programs take courses in decorating principles and learn to apply their knowledge through practical experience. They look at the history of interior decorating and explore styles of furnishings, window treatments and accessories. They also learn accepted industry practices. Courses may include:

  • Design principles
  • Bedding and accessories
  • History of American decorating
  • Textiles
  • Sustainable design

Popular Career Options

Self-employment as an interior decorator is one option for graduates of a diploma program. Other decorators work in retail stores or use their design skills in other industries. Popular career options include home stager, event planner, and kitchen designer.

Continuing Education and Professional Certification Information

Students with a diploma in interior decorating can go on to earn an associate's or a bachelor's degree in interior design. A few schools offer master's degrees in interior design. Graduates of a diploma program from an approved school are eligible to take the examination to become a Certified Interior Decorator (C.I.D.) from Certified Interior Decorators International, the professional association for interior decorators.

Students with a flair for creating aesthetically-pleasing decor may enjoy a career decorating and staging a variety of interior spaces. Hands-on training can be gained through a diploma program, which can prepare one for certification as an interior decorator.

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