Interior Decorating: Diploma Summary

Students enrolled in interior decorating diploma programs can learn to integrate colors, fabric textures, furniture, and interior lighting to create interior spaces.

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Essential Information

Interior decorating diploma programs are designed to provide students with the technical knowledge, professional skills, and aesthetic abilities for entry-level positions in residential and non-residential interior design. Community colleges and vocational schools are among the institutions that offer these 1-year diploma programs. Applicants typically need a high school diploma or equivalent to be admitted.

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Diploma in Interior Decorating

Interior decorating students study a range of topics that enrich their aesthetic awareness. Basic business skills and practices are often included for students who aspire to start their own businesses, and some programs help students create a portfolio. Field trips to decor firms or various furnishing companies may also be included. Potential coursework includes:

  • Furniture, residential, and interior design
  • Color theory
  • Design fundamentals
  • Textiles, fabrics, and materials and costs
  • Wall treatments
  • Lighting

Popular Career Options

After earning an interior decorating diploma, individuals may decide to start their own business. Interior decorators are hired by people wanting to decorate their homes, and they're also hired by businesses wanting to improve their office decor. Additionally, many companies require the help of these professionals to stage showrooms. Some potential jobs may include:

  • Model home decorator
  • Furniture showroom stager
  • Decorating consultant

Continuing Education Information

Interior decorators who want to expand their capabilities can consider earning a degree in interior design. While interior decorators are responsible for the decor of an interior space, interior designers actually plan out interior spaces, such as where to place windows, stairs, or doors. Interior design degrees are common at the associate and bachelor's level and include classes in drafting, drawing, and spatial design. Many states regulate interior designers and require them to register or obtain a license before practicing. Licensing exams are provided by the National Council for Interior Design Qualification, and eligible applicants must have sufficient education and practical experience.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Although the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn't report statistics for interior decorators, it does track and make available information for interior designers. It's important to note that interior design is a more advanced career field than interior decoration, though, with higher salaries to match. In 2015, designers earned an annual median salary of $48,840, the BLS said. Jobs for these professionals were expected to increase by 4% from 2014-2024, according to the BLS.

Interior decorating diploma programs look at various aspects of the art, from color theory and lighting to wall treatments and textiles. Graduates can expand their knowledge base through degree programs in interior design or find work independently as an interior decorator. Other careers this diploma can open up include decorating consultant, furniture showroom stager, and model home decorator.

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