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Associate in Applied Science (AAS): Interior Design Degree Overview

Oct 29, 2019

Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Interior Design programs provide basic instruction in the field to prepare students for careers as interior design assistants. Find out about the program along with career and continuing education options for graduates.

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Essential Information

AAS programs in interior design teach students about enhancing the interior elements of spaces in ways that meet the needs of clients and employees, promote products and create desired moods. Students learn to blend colors and textures, design lighting concepts, read structural blueprints and incorporate cohesive design themes. They also gain the skills necessary to communicate with customers, interior designers, architects and contractors. Over the course of these programs, they develop portfolios with visual examples of their interior design projects. A high school diploma or equivalent is generally required for admission to these programs.


Associate of Applied Science in Interior Design

Most AAS degree programs in interior design cover topics in design technology, design styles and business practices. Specific classes often include topics such as a color theory, lighting and textiles; other potential coursework includes:

  • Drawing interiors
  • Blueprints and construction documents
  • Drafting interiors
  • Design materials
  • Furniture and architecture
  • Interior design history

Possible Career Options

Upon graduation from an AAS in Interior Design program, an individual may get a job as an interior design assistant. Professionals working in interior design may go on to work in a variety of specializations, including:

  • Lighting
  • Residential spaces
  • Commercial spaces
  • Wall coverings
  • Furniture

Employment Outlook and Salary

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects the employment of interior designers will increase by 4% from 2018 to 2028 (www.bls.gov). According to BLS data from 2018, these professionals earned a median yearly salary of $53,370.

Continued Education and Licensure Information

In order to become a licensed, professional interior designer, you typically need to complete coursework beyond the associate degree level and earn a bachelor's degree. Interior design apprenticeship programs are available to bachelor's degree graduates, which can help them apply design theory to real-world situations. The Interior Design Experience Program, hosted by the National Council for Interior Design Qualification, connects interior design students and graduates with design mentors. Within an apprenticeship program, students are trained to write up client contracts, develop design concepts, create design schematics and run design businesses.

Some states require interior designers to be licensed. Licensure is earned through the National Council for Interior Design Qualification, which requires professionals to have at least six years of work experience combined with post-secondary education, where education must comprise at least two years of that time (www.ncidq.org).

If you want to become an assistant interior designer, an AAS in the field provides sufficient business and design training. Students who want to pursue the licensure needed to work independently as interior designers can continue their education by getting a bachelor's degree and completing an apprenticeship program.

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