Associate of Fine Art (AFA): Interior Design Degree Overview

Oct 29, 2019

Essential Information

An Associate of Art (AA) in Interior Design program is meant to help students build the creative and technical skills required for an entry-level job in interior design, such as basic knowledge of design concepts and the computer technology used in this field. Students in these two-year programs can also expect to learn about the fundamental concepts of design and develop their artistic expertise. Upon completion of the program, students will be able to create an original and functional design piece.

Most schools don't require any prerequisites for entry into a program. However, an interest in design, artistic skills and a creative mind can lead to success in this program. Further education and even licensure might be requirements for some positions within the interior design field.

Associate of Art in Interior Design

Courses offered within an interior design degree program encourage students to develop creative and safe design solutions based on customer needs, economic constraints and the physical limitations of the design space. Programs offer general education courses and core courses in interior design concepts and techniques. Courses that may be included in a program are:

  • Creative research
  • Computer-aided design
  • Interior design history
  • Project planning
  • Introduction to color

Popular Career Options

Graduates who begin working right away may secure a trainee or internship position with a design firm or company. There are also opportunities other than directly being involved in designing a space, such as working for a manufacturer of products typically used in interior design. Job titles might include interior designer assistant, business owner, and product representative.

Job Outlook and Salary Information

In September 2019, the website listed an average annual salary of $39,999 for assistant interior designers. The site also indicated that industrial product sales representatives earned an average yearly wage of $52,092 at that time.

Continuing Education Information

The typical pathway for graduates of an associate program is to continue their education in a bachelor's program in interior design. Most programs are created to easily transfer into a 4-year program. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, after completing a bachelor's degree program, individuals may complete an apprenticeship program and then enter the field as an interior designer ( In some states, interior designers must hold a professional license.

Although it is not possible to earn an AFA in interior design, an AA in the field provides sufficient artistic and technological training for entry-level employment or transfer to a bachelor's degree program.

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