Interior decorating requires knowledge and skill in design features and logistics. Two different programs are available for aspiring interior decorators: certificate programs and diploma courses. Interior decorating certificate and diploma programs cover many of the same topics, but there are some differences between the two programs. Certificate programs are generally completed in under a year; diploma programs take between one to two years of full-time study to complete. Additionally, students in diploma programs take more technology-based courses. Students in both programs, however, usually take business classes related to interior decorating, such as marketing, budget planning and record keeping.
A high school diploma, possible need for English and math placement tests, are required for the certificate and diploma program.
Certificate in Interior Decorating
A certificate in interior decorating teaches students the basics of improving the functionality and attractiveness of interior spaces. The curriculum focuses on the use of fabric, color, lighting, space, furniture and accessories in residential and commercial interiors. Many interior decorating certificate programs are not accredited by professional organizations and do not lead to certification. Some common class include:
- Fundamentals of interior decorating and design
- Interior textiles
- History of furniture design
Diploma in Interior Decorating
A diploma program in interior decorating covers both the fundamentals of interior decorating and the technical aspects of design. Students learn many of the same topics that are covered in certificate programs, but they also take classes in architectural drafting and computer-aided design (CAD). Completion of an internship or portfolio project may be part of the diploma requirements. Some diploma programs qualify students for certification exams, such as the one offered by Certified Interior Decorators International, Inc.. Some classes in the diploma program explore:
- Spatial theory
- Interior design marketing
- Color usage
Popular Career Options
Both certificate and diploma programs prepare students to work in a variety of environments that require interior design expertise. Some graduates even start their own businesses. Here are some popular career options for graduates of interior design certificate and diploma programs:
- Home stagers
- Visual merchandisers
- Showroom managers
- Color consultants
- Sales representatives
Continuing Education Information
Graduates of non-accredited certificate programs can consider a certification course. If the school offering the certificate or diploma program also offers an associate's degree program in interior decorating or design, it may be possible to transfer credits into a two-year degree program. Bachelor's degrees in interior design are also available.
Two educational paths, a certificate and a diploma, can lead students to a fulfilling career in interior decorating. The certificate is typically completed in under a year while a diploma requires more time but offers more in-depth training.