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Interior Design: Diploma Summary

An interior design diploma introduces students to the design and decorating industry without a large time commitment. It is a preparatory program that provides hands-on training for those who want to begin careers in interior design.

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Essential Information

Diploma programs in interior design generally include fieldwork or studio classes for hands-on experience. Most programs require students to have earned a high school diploma or GED before enrolling, although some schools could make exceptions for students without those credentials. Internships are often necessary prior to graduation.

With many diploma programs taking about a year or two to complete, students are often quickly able to apply their studies to entry-level positions in the industry. However, it's important to note that most professional interior designers hold a bachelor's degree.


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Diploma in Interior Design

Students in this program often learn about both the design and business aspects of being a successful interior designer. Many programs also include business and math courses into its curriculum. Some of the courses students might take include:

  • Principles of design
  • Communications and public speaking
  • Color and light
  • Sketching
  • Textiles and fabrics
  • Computer-automated design (CAD)

Popular Career Options

Earning an interior design diploma can prepare students for several entry-level positions in the decorating and design industry. Some of these include:

  • Assistant designer
  • Visual merchandiser
  • Salesperson
  • Showroom designer

Employment Outlook and Salary

As of May 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that interior designers earned a median annual salary of $48,840. Job opportunities for interior designers are expected to increase by 4% from 2014 to 2024. This employment outlook is slower than average compared to other professions.

Continuing Education Information

According to the BLS, professional interior designers often have an associate's or bachelor's degree (www.bls.gov). Therefore, spending an additional year or two earning a higher level of education might be a worthwhile investment for those who want to become an interior designer. Several states require interior designers to be licensed. Agencies like the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) provide licensing exams for interested designers (www.ncidq.org). Those designers who are eligible to become licensed must have at least six years of experience, comprised of both work experience and formal training.

Diploma programs in interior design offer practical experience and introductory lessons in creating functional and aesthetically pleasing interior spaces. Upon obtaining a diploma, graduates may immediately gain employment or continue their studies through a bachelor's degree program in order to become a professional interior designer and acquire licensure.

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