Students of a 1-2 year interior design diploma program will have developed creative and technical skills. They will have learned design aspects that allow them to create aesthetically pleasing spaces that are functional and serve a customer's needs. Practical experience is gained through studio classes in commercial and residential design as well as through internships. Interior design diploma programs are typically offered through community colleges. Some states require interior designers to be licensed. Licensing is done through an exam from the National Council for Interior Design Qualification.
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Interior Design: Career College Diploma Summary
Applicants will need a high school diploma or equivalent to be admitted. Aside from courses in architecture and design theory, students may also take courses that include but are not limited to communications, algebra, critical thinking and entrepreneurship. Topics such as materials, space planning, color, building codes and computer design software are also covered. To expand students' knowledge of interior design, special courses may be available in period style or remodeling. Sample courses include:
- Design Drafting
- Color and Light Theory
- Cost Estimating
- Kitchen and Bath Design
A diploma program in interior design prepares students for various entry-level careers within the interior design field. Students may choose to focus on one type of design or work as a general designer. Possible jobs include but are not limited to kitchen and bath designer, commercial designer and store planner.
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a 4% increase in the employment of interior designers is projected from 2014 to 2024. The BLS also estimated that in May of 2015, interior designers earned a mean yearly income of $55,510.
After completing a diploma program, students may choose to earn an associate or bachelor's degree in interior design. The BLS reported that a bachelor's degree allows individuals to qualify for apprenticeships. An apprenticeship can help students to refine their skills and gain the 1-3 years of training usually needed before beginners can work on their own. Some states require interior designers to be licensed.
Interior design diploma programs verse students in different aspects of design theory, with hands-on learning often available through internship experiences. Diploma programs may allow students to seek entry-level employment in the field, though more advanced degrees in interior design can open up more opportunities, also providing a gateway for students to practice independently after apprenticing an interior designer. Some states require interior designers to be licensed.