Associate of Business Science (ABS): Interior Design Degree Overview

Associate of Business Science (ABS) in Interior Design programs provide basic training in the field. They emphasize visual art and creativity to prepare students for entry-level positions in the field or further studies.

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Essential Information

Two-year ABS programs in interior design focus on the fundamentals of design, fabrics and architecture. In the classroom, students are expected to create drawings and present their work. During the program, students work on building a portfolio that they can use when looking for work in the future.

Associate of Business Science (ABS) in Interior Design

Courses in interior design programs concentrate on graphic design, sketching and drafting, among other forms of visual presentation. Associate's degree programs also require students to complete general education courses in areas such as technical math and social studies. Students may also take courses to learn how to better communicate their designs, concepts and ideas. Common course titles include:

  • Residential construction and materials
  • Lighting and perspective
  • Decorative arts
  • Color and composition
  • Rendering
  • Speech

Career Options

Graduates might be qualified to pursue a variety of employment opportunities at interior design firms, architecture offices, furniture retailers and showrooms, to name a few. Career examples include:

  • Kitchen & bath designer
  • Furniture designer
  • Project manager
  • Drafter
  • Sales associate

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

In 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported an annual median salary of $53,370 for interior designers. The BLS projected 4% employment growth for these professionals from 2018-2028, which is slower than the average for all occupations.

Continuing Education, Certification and Licensure Information

It's important to keep in mind that most interior designers hold bachelor's degrees. For instance, a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design could prove beneficial to individuals looking to advance their careers, become consultants or work as freelance designers.

Voluntary professional certification could also demonstrate an individual's expertise in the field. The National Kitchen and Bath Association offers several levels of certifications in kitchen and bath design. Many states also require interior designers to gain licensure by passing the National Council for Interior Design Qualification exam. To qualify for the licensing exam, candidates generally need to meet education and experience requirements mandated by the state.

Overall, it is possible to enter the field after earning an ABS in Interior Design, as they provide a solid foundation in design principles. However, in a competitive employment environment, graduates may need a bachelor's degree for employment, and state licensure may also be required.

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