There are various degree options for individuals who wish to pursue a career in residential planning. Certificate programs might be offered as a short introductory option. Degree programs specifically titled as residential planning may be rare, so students also might consider programs in interior design or architectural design, which can include residential planning courses. Residential planners and designers create living spaces that are both aesthetically and functionally pleasing.
Certificate in Residential Planning
Individuals seeking education or training in residential planning may consider a certificate program. The content of certificate programs vary from school to school, with some programs focusing on providing an introduction to residential planning. Other programs may be designed for individuals with previous training who wish to stay up-to-date with current trends and recent innovations in residential planning. Although there are many different types of certificate programs, many of the courses are similar. Course topics may include:
- Technical drawing and drafting
- Designing with building systems
- Residential interior design
Associate's Degree in Residential Planning
When searching for a residential planning program, students might consider interior design programs that have an option of focusing on residential planning. The associate's program introduces the student to textiles, color, and space usage planning along with the tools such as CAD programs. Business management courses are included because many interior designers work as independent consultants. Course topics for the associate's degree may include:
- Commercial and residential building interiors
- Textile basics
- Barrier free and building codes
- Preservation and restoration basics
- Store design and planning
Bachelor's Degree in Residential Planning
The bachelor's degree teaches students to use various textiles and spatial design tools when working in conjunction with architects and homeowners to create a desired living space. Some programs may require a student to complete a portfolio prior to graduating, and some may include assistance in doing so. Most bachelor's degrees are on-campus programs, but there are several online programs available as well. Focus is placed on art and architecture. Course topics may include:
- Computer aided drafting
- Architectural drafting
- Architecture and interior design history
- Business ethics and principals for interior designers
- Small business management
- Interior design textiles
Individuals with a certificate or degree in residential planning have a great variety of career options. Career options may include:
- Planning consultant
- Manufacturer's sales representative
- Furniture designer
- Movie or stage set designer
- Architectural firm support designer
- Interior design assistant
- Furniture assistant sales representative
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov) employment for interior designers was expected to grow by 4% from 2018 through 2028. As of May 2018, the median annual salary was reported as $53,370 for interior designers.
Some states, such as Florida, require an interior designer to become licensed. Any state's requirements for licensing can be found at the state licensing boards. Another option for those with a bachelor's in residential planning is to move towards a master's degree in interior design. Those with master's degrees in interior design have greater career options and may go on to become senior designers, project managers, and lighting designers.
Certificate and degree programs that cover residential planning combine studies in design and technology to help prepare students for interior design-related careers.