Associate of Science (AS): Interior Design Degree Overview

Associate of Science (AS) programs in interior design teach students to optimize space usage for function and aesthetics in residential and commercial buildings. Read on to check out program details and potential careers relating to interior design.

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Essential Information

Students in AS interior design programs become adept at understanding blueprints and learn to work with architects during construction or renovation. They also learn to analyze client needs and offer innovative options using computer-aided design software. Some programs require students to participate in work experience opportunities, giving students the chance to design living spaces and build their resume prior to graduation; specialization options include kitchen and bath design. In addition to design courses, students must complete general education requirements prior to graduation. In order to apply, prospective students need a high school diploma or the equivalent.

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Associate of Science in Interior Design

An associate's degree in interior design prepares students for the professional world, with coursework covering areas such as materials and products, textiles, and drawing. Enrolled individuals receive a foundation in design concepts and will learn to balance form and function to maximize the utility and appeal of a given space. Students may also be able to participate in school-sponsored trips to study real-world applications of interior design concepts. Common course topics within the program include:

  • 3-D imaging
  • Residential design
  • Non-residential design
  • Drafting
  • Lighting and color
  • Computer-aided drafting

Popular Career Options

Graduates typically have the aesthetic and business knowledge to find entry-level positions in design firms, architecture firms or home furnishing stores. Possible job titles include:

  • Industrial design coordinator
  • Kitchen design consultant
  • Decorating specialist

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

In 2015, interior designers earned a median annual salary of $48,840, the BLS reported. From 2014-2024, jobs for interior designers are projected by the BLS to increase by 4%, which is slower than the average for all occupations.

Continuing Education and Licensure Information

Graduates who participated in internships or work experience programs may be eligible to take the Associate Kitchen and Bath Design Examination offered through the National Kitchen and Bath Association. They can also keep up with the latest advances in design and decorating by enrolling in interior design certificate programs.

Those interested in working as a licensed interior designer can pursue bachelor's degrees in interior design. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), to become a licensed interior designer, graduates must have at least six years of combined education and experience, as well as pass a qualifying exam.

An AS in interior design program is a good starting point for students who want to work in the field. It provides sufficient design and technology training for entry-level positions, and it provides the foundational knowledge necessary for more advanced interior design studies that can lead to higher level positions.

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