What Degree For Interior Design

How to Become an Interior Designer: A U.S. News Guide

Becoming an interior designer may lead to a rewarding profession that combines creativity with practicality in order to suit the needs of others. In order to develop places that are both aesthetically beautiful and useful, interior designers must first identify the problems and functions that their clients require. Designing interiors may be done in a range of contexts, ranging from architecture companies to furniture stores, and in the United States, around one-third of interior designers are self-employed.

Interior designers will have plenty of work to do in the coming years, thanks to an increase in house building and refurbishment.

(Photo courtesy of Getty Images) Interior design is the planning of space. It refers to the layout and arrangement of rooms in residences, hotels, office buildings, restaurants, and other commercial establishments, among other things. Interior designers can work with a diverse spectrum of customers, including huge real estate developers, corporate enterprises, and private homes, due to the vast breadth of their profession. Although there were almost 78,000 interior designers working in the United States as of May 2019, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted that employment in the field will fall by 5% from 2019 to 2029.

Interior designers execute a wide range of responsibilities on a daily basis. They sketch out room layouts, assess expenses, and set project schedules, among other things. Interior designers must also make a variety of decisions on the layout of the space, color palettes, furniture types, and materials to be used. Interior designers maintain continual communication with their customers over the duration of a project to ensure that they are meeting their demands for safe, appealing, and practical interiors.

This involves the creation and maintenance of a website that highlights their previous and current work.

Interior designers use both soft and hard abilities to be successful. They should be able to work with a variety of different design tools. While computers have replaced the necessity for interior designers to develop layouts by hand, having an artistic bent can help them swiftly sketch up their designs for a client’s approval. Interior designers, in general, are creative individuals who have an intrinsic sense of aesthetics, color, and texture. Interior designers are also general managers, with the ability to supervise people, set and adhere to budgets, and move projects forward in a timely manner.

In addition, such abilities are beneficial in networking and the search for new tasks.

For example, some companies specialize solely in kitchen design.

Therefore, interior designers must understand how different sectors use their space in order to be successful. For example, an interior designer who is working on the design of a dining business must be familiar with the normal flow of a restaurant, including how food is produced and served.

Additionally, interior designers must have training in the area of building codes, construction, and local legislation in order to be successful in their careers. In contrast to the majority of states, which permit interior designers to operate in residential areas without a permit, certain jurisdictions need licensing for projects in commercial structures. State registrations and certificates, while not necessarily required, might open the door to more lucrative employment opportunities. Even when interior designers deal with homeowners, a certification may instill confidence and trust in the minds of those who hire them.

Interior designers must have a bachelor’s degree in interior design or architecture, as well as at least two years of professional experience, in order to sit for the test.

How Long Does It Take to Become an Interior Designer?

If an interior designer seeks an associate degree in interior design, the road to a job may take at least two years, which is the time required to complete the requirements for this qualification. Interior designers with an associate degree who want to take the NCIDQ test and become certified must have at least three years of full-time job experience before they may sit for the exam. Qualification for the test requires two years of work experience in addition to a bachelor’s degree, which generally takes four years to complete.

Interior Designer vs. Interior Decorator: What’s the Difference?

Despite the fact that the terms “interior designer” and “interior decorator” are sometimes used interchangeably, the two occupations are separate. The bottom line is that while interior designers may decorate, they can’t create new designs. Interior decorators choose the furniture, the flooring, the lighting, and the textures that go into a room they’re designing for. Interior designers not only do all of these tasks, but they may also design – and even build – the space. To form a building, interior designers frequently collaborate with developers and architects, providing input on design choices such as wall curvednesses and ceiling height, for example.

Also important is the fact that interior designers have theoretical and scientific understanding of human behavior and design, which they use to guide them in the construction of practical, safe, and inclusive spaces.

Their specific talents are the result of rigorous studies, training, and experience, which are not available to interior decorators. In order to practice interior design in some jurisdictions, interior designers may be required to take the NCIDQ test. Interior decorators are not need to be licensed.

What Tools and Software Should Interior Designers Know?

The ability to create interiors by hand is a vital skill for interior designers; however, competency in computer-aided design, sometimes known as CAD, is a current need. Interior designers can use computer-aided design (CAD) to flesh out their ideas in 2D and 3D models, adding elements such as textures and colors. With augmented reality capabilities, interior designers may go a step further by making modifications and additions to an uploaded photograph of the room right in the software. Beyond design tools, interior designers should be well-versed in workflow and project management software, among other things.

As of May of this year, the average compensation for an interior designer was around $61,000. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the lowest-earning 10 percent earned an average of $32,000, while the top 10 percent earned an average of more than $96,000. Salaries vary based on where you work and how much experience you have. Example: A midcareer interior designer in Houston may make $5,000 to $10,000 less than a counterpart in New York City during the same period of time. In the top-paying states for the business, such as Rhode Island, California, and Arizona, average wages exceed $70,000.

In most cases, being an interior designer entails a number of processes, which may involve acquiring a college degree or diploma, mastering specialist software, and obtaining a professional license. A successful career as an interior designer demands not just hard work but also a strong commitment to self-promotion. While establishing a business might be difficult at first, it allows interior designers the opportunity to follow their individual interests in the sector after a period of adjustment.

Study, Get a Degree (or not)

To become a registered interior designer, you must have at least an associate degree. They learn the principles of building as well as design theory and history, communication, and business while working towards a degree. Designers can also acquire a range of trade skills, such as computer-aided design (CAD), on their own by taking online classes. For students who want to enter into the profession of interior design, certain colleges and institutions now offer self-paced certifications.

Get Accredited/Certified and Obtain Work Experience

The majority of states provide certification for interior designers; however, just a handful of states need a license for work in code-based environments, which is typically associated with large-scale commercial projects. Taking the NCIDQ test is the most effective approach for interior designers to demonstrate their abilities.

The test is divided into three sections: Fundamentals, abbreviated IDFX; Professional, abbreviated IDPX; and Practicum, abbreviated PRAC. In all, the test assesses an individual’s knowledge of interior design textbooks as well as their practical experience in the field.

Get an Internship or Small Jobs to Get Started

The ideal approach to get started is to discover an interior design internship, which will allow prospective professionals to have a better understanding of the day-to-day responsibilities of the field. For new interior designers, a little assignment for an acquaintance or a family may be a valuable source of valuable work experience.

Develop Your Interior Design Portfolio

Internships and part-time employment are also good chances to establish an interior design portfolio that can be used to compete for full-time positions and show potential clients your work. A superb portfolio should exhibit the designer’s eye for both aesthetics and practicality, which can be difficult to do in the same piece of design work. The designer’s approach should also be revealed through drawings, mood boards, and, if feasible, pictures of the finished piece. Projects that demonstrate careful attention of color and light stand out from the crowd, as these aspects of interior design may be particularly difficult to master.

Network and Establish Your Niche

Networking is essential in every job, and this is no exception. There are several professional organizations that aspiring interior designers may join in order to network with their colleagues, find mentors, and learn more about the industry. Some of them are as follows: Numerous specialty specialist associations exist, which can assist interior designers in concentrating their practices and mastering certain parts of the field, such as lighting and kitchen design. Among the specialist organizations are the following: According to the United States News and World Report When it comes to our suggestions, Education takes an unbiased approach.

How to Become an Interior Designer

In today’s society, becoming an interior designer is an extremely popular career choice, and it’s simple to understand why. For those who are passionate about design and bringing out the beauty of a room, interior design is an excellent career choice that allows you to exercise your creative muscles and artistic talent. However, how does one go about becoming a professional interior designer? You can’t just wake up one day and decide that you want to be an interior designer. It takes a lot of effort and dedication.

However, whether you choose the traditional route or options B or C, you will be able to pursue your desired profession as an interior designer.

Before we get started, let’s get this out of the way.

What is an Interior Designer?

An interior designer is a professional who focuses on the design of interior spaces and architecture. Among the responsibilities of an interior designer include the creation of plans, doing research, coordinating projects, and project management. They put a strong emphasis on space planning while also developing coherent and visually beautiful design concepts for both residential and commercial spaces.

When working as a professional interior designer, you have the option of focusing on a certain design sector such as home interior design, commercial design, environmental design, or a combination of these.

What Does an Interior Designer Do?

An interior designer is responsible for a wide range of design components and tasks, which include the following:

  • Listening to the client’s requirements, goals, available space, areas of interest, and available money for the intended project
  • Creates a rough drawn design plan of the arrangement, taking into consideration the number of people that will be utilizing the room
  • Finalizes design plans with the use of computer software. Estimates the cost of projects in advance of their completion. Establishes a schedule for the project’s commencement and completion
  • Face-to-face meetings with clients to ensure that they are completely satisfied with a project
  • Inquires about possible clients and makes proposals for new projects.

Interior Designer and Interior Decorator are the Same Thing, Right?

Wrong. In actuality, an interior decorator is distinct from an interior designer in several ways. The most significant distinction is education: An associate or bachelor’s degree from an approved college or interior design school will most certainly be required before you can begin working as an interior designer at a company. Meanwhile, anybody may pursue a career as an interior designer, regardless of their educational background, interior decorator school they attended, or training they have received.

  • Interior decorating does not necessitate the acquisition of any permits or licenses.
  • An interior designer is responsible for the design and construction of living and working spaces, as well as a variety of other construction projects.
  • In addition, an interior designer may have a variety of specializations to choose from.
  • You’ll be in charge of overseeing an interior design project from beginning to end.
  • However, in order to become an interior designer, you must put in some more effort in order to get there.

Go To School and Earn an Associate or Bachelor’s Degree in Interior Design

In order to be genuinely successful, interior designers must be imaginative, technically adept, and commercially astute. You are fortunate in that you have various possibilities for obtaining your interior design education, ranging from an associate’s degree to a PhD degree. The most traditional route to acquiring the skills you’ll need is to enroll in a bachelor’s degree program at a university or a community college. However, if you are undecided about whether interior design is the professional path you want to pursue or are not ready to completely commit to a bachelor’s degree program, an associate’s degree is a wonderful place to start and get your foot in the door of the industry.

  1. Continue your study from this point forward if you decide that a job in interior design is the road you wish to pursue in your life.
  2. With an associate’s degree program, you have the option of going in a variety of paths.
  3. However, if you decide that you want to continue your study in interior design and achieve your bachelor’s degree, you should consider earning an Associate of Arts degree first.
  4. Year two, on the other hand, delves into more specific areas like as color theory and architectural lighting, as well as beginning marketing and business concepts.
  5. You’ll get a better understanding of the artistic, technical, and business abilities necessary to succeed in the area.
  6. You’ll study everything from the philosophy and history of interior design to how to draw drawings, develop 3D models, and utilize computer-aided design (CAD) software throughout your time at this program.
  7. In most interior design schools, students will learn the skills necessary to work in a variety of locations other than residential ones.
See also:  How To Build An Interior Wall In Existing Room

You’ll learn how to take into account factors such as traffic flow, lighting design, acoustics, as well as the social and psychological demands of a certain place and its occupants, among other things.

When considering starting your own interior design business rather than working for a huge design firm, this is extremely beneficial.

There will also be a choice of emphases available in many degree programs, which will allow you to specialize in a particular field, such as bathroom design or ecologically friendly materials.

Beyond a bachelor’s degree program, you can pursue a master’s or doctoral degree in interior design to advance your career opportunities.

A master’s degree in interior design helps them expand their understanding of the subject and prepares them for a more senior position within their company or for the possibility of starting their own interior design firm.

For those who don’t want to go down the conventional study path, several prestigious interior design schools now offer online learning alternatives.

Internships are a vital part of the top degree programs because they allow you to construct your professional portfolio, which is just as valuable as your degree in today’s competitive world.

However, regardless of which degree program you pick, you should be certain that it is offered by an approved university.

Upon Graduation, Pass the National Council for Interior Design Qualification Exam and Get an Interior Design License (If Necessary)

While not all states need interior designers to be licensed, it is important to double-check, since certain states will prevent unlicensed designers from performing any interior design work in their jurisdiction. Some other states let both to work, but only licensed professionals are permitted to use the label “interior designer” in their work. Passing the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) test is required to become a certified interior designer in the state of California.

As previously said, state standards do differ, so be careful to check your state’s laws before proceeding further.

Also available are optional certificates for interior designers who own and operate a firm that specializes in a certain area of interior design.

Build a Strong Portfolio

The most effective strategy to make oneself more appealing to potential clients is to establish a solid portfolio. Whatever degree program you pick, a significant portion of the curriculum should be devoted to the development of a strong portfolio that showcases your abilities and creative concepts. You’ll want to take high-quality images of all of your work and exhibit them in a visually appealing manner on your website and in a digital presentation, for example. This will demonstrate to your clients what you’re capable of and will portray you as a professional who is well-organized.

Additionally, you should always update your portfolio to emphasize work that are relevant to the position you are attempting to obtain.

Clients enjoy flipping through picture books to view your work, and holding something in their hands may have a more lasting impression than simply showing them a photo book.

Don’t be scared to add any schooling you believe is of high quality if you believe it is relevant.

Take Pro Bono Work

This may sound absurd, given the ultimate objective is, of course, to make money from your work, but if you have no prior work experience, you may find it difficult to secure employment. This is a good method to gain some valuable work experience and improve your chances of landing a job in the future. Because you cannot earn expertise without putting in some effort, you may be forced to practice your skill for free, which is a sad state of affairs.

Make a donation of your time and talents to family, friends, or local charitable organizations. This will also assist you in honing your abilities in preparation for when you do land a paying job.

Find Yourself an Interior Design Job, or Start Working For Yourself

A career in interior design is a highly competitive area in which to work. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be a predicted rise of 4% between 2014 and 2024 in the field of accounting. Do you have any other questions on how to become an interior designer? Alternatively, perhaps you’re ready to begin working on a bachelor’s degree in interior architecture and design. Today is the day to contact the NewSchool of ArchitectureDesignEnrollment Team!

16 Interior Design Schools Worth Applying to

Interior Design is the subject of this program. Blacksburg, Virginia is the location. Degrees offered: B.S. and M.S. in ArchitectureCIDA accreditation: Yes There are several opportunities in the local area. Students commonly study or intern in foreign countries throughout their undergraduate years. Cost: $33,857 for out-of-state travel and $14,175 for in-state travel. Students studying architecture and design are also obliged to pay a $1,500 registration fee each year. Interior design graduates are placed in 94 percent of their desired positions.

Steger are two notable alumni.

Pratt Institute

Pratt Institute is widely regarded as one of the greatest interior design schools in the country, having established one of the earliest interior design programs in the country. It is part of the School of Design, and it stresses spatial design and surface ornamentation while always keeping the human inhabitants in mind. Students begin studio classes in their sophomore year, after they have finished their first-year Foundation courses. Studio sessions are designed to encourage cooperation in a competitive environment.

  • The curriculum, which is located in Copenhagen, includes intensive research visits around Scandinavia.
  • Interior Design is the subject of this program.
  • BFACIDA accreditation is available for those who pursue a degree.
  • Because of Pratt’s location in New York, students have several opportunities to gain valuable experience working with high-level professional businesses and showrooms.

Anneabelle Selldorf and Peter Zumthor are two notable alumni. Student’s enrolled in the highly respected interior design program at Pratt Institute are prepared to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification examination. Featured image courtesy of the Pratt Institute

Florida State University

For more than 40 years, Florida State University’s Department of Interior Architecture and Design has been recognized as one of the nation’s top interior design schools. It was even included in CollegeRank’s 2022 list of the finest interior design degrees, where it came in third place. Interior design students will learn how to create practical and sustainable surroundings that have a positive influence on the world around them as a part of the College of Fine Arts’ human-centered approach to interior design.

  • The curriculum at Florida State University also places a strong focus on hands-on experience, with 100 percent of students completing at least one internship before graduating.
  • Department of Interior Architecture and Design is the name of the program.
  • Degrees available: B.S.
  • Internships are organized with local interior design and architectural businesses, as well as with firms in other cities around Florida and the United States.
  • Grant Gribble and Lisa Kinch Waxman are two notable graduates.

Thomas Jefferson University

Located in Philadelphia, the thriving interior design program at Thomas Jefferson University provides a functional and technical education that is filled with multidisciplinary courses on themes such as human psychology, sustainable design, construction details, and building systems, among others. Studios and courses combine artistic experimentation with research-driven problem-solving to produce a synthesis of ideas. Nonetheless, Thomas Jefferson University strives to provide its students with a thorough and diversified understanding of the sector.

A secondary specialty in business, construction management, textile design, historic preservation, or photography is also available to students who meet the requirements.

Students may choose to specialize in business, construction management, textile design, historic preservation, photography, or other areas. Optional study-abroad programs in Copenhagen and Rome add to the overall educational experience for students.

What Degree Do I Need to Become an Interior Designer?

People live, work, and do business in the inner areas of residential, public, and commercial buildings more frequently than in the outside spaces. Designing interior spaces that are both useful and visually beautiful while also being safe is the responsibility of interior designers. In the field of interior design, the planning and design of both commercial and residential areas are included. If you want to pursue a profession in interior design, obtaining at least some level of college education is almost a requirement.

The image was obtained from Pixabay, which is in the public domain.

What Degree Do You Need to Be an Interior Designer?

In accordance with O*NET, the most prevalent level of education for interior designers is a bachelor’s degree, which accounts for around 85 percent of the profession. One out of every ten interior designers reported holding an associate’s degree, with a post-baccalaureate certificate ranking second on the list of most frequent levels of schooling. In addition to your professional development, earning a degree is beneficial to your financial future as well. According to the trade publication Architectural Digest, interior designers with a college degree earned more than $15,000 more per year than their counterparts without one in 2019.

  1. If you decide to pursue a higher degree of education, you may expect to be in school for four, five, or even more years.
  2. Obtaining a license sometimes necessitates a number of additional years of supervised work experience in addition to the first two years.
  3. The Council for Interior Design Accreditationaccredits around 180 professional-level interior design programs (either bachelor’s or master’s degree programs).
  4. To do so, they must normally have a relevant degree, a minimum number of years of experience, and a passing score on a test such as the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ), among other requirements.

The Education Needed to Be an Interior Designer

Whichever degree of college education and job training you choose to pursue in interior design, the following is a breakdown of what you may expect from your education.

Associate’s Degrees in Interior Design

An Associate of Artsdegree or an Associate of Applied Sciencedegree in interior design are the two-year associate’s degree programs provided at the associate’s level in the field. While Associate of Arts degrees are often designed to serve as stepping stones to bachelor’s degrees in interior design, Associates of applied science degrees are intended to prepare students for professional industry standards. Consequently, the curriculums of associate’s degree programs in interior design vary significantly based on the sort of school you enroll in and the location where you live.

Coursework in design and construction, building materials and processes, the fundamentals of computer-aided design (CAD), drawing, three-dimensional design, as well as the history of architecture and interior design, will be included in the curriculum.

Even while this program is meant to prepare students for additional interior design study at the bachelor level, students will still have the opportunity to apply their abilities through a sequence of design studio courses while pursuing their associate’s degree.

For example, you may choose to concentrate on domestic design in one term, commercial design in another, and the use of fabrics and finishes in a third course before graduating.

It is possible that you may spend less time in liberal arts and science classes and more time in your chosen major, however the amount of time spent in each subject will vary from one college to another.

Bachelor’s Degrees in Interior Design

In certain cases, a bachelor’s degree in any area may be sufficient to qualify for an interior designer position, provided that the student also takes design-related courses. Students who are serious about pursuing an interior design profession, on the other hand, should enroll in an authorized interior design course explicitly, because a curriculum that is specialized to this field would better prepare them for the rigors of an interior design job. A Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, or Bachelor of Science in interior design are all options for students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in interior design at the bachelor’s level.

Degree programs in interior design at the bachelor’s level should contain courses in space planning, interior design processes and materials, sustainable design, as well as construction systems and details.

It is possible that some courses, such as building codes for interior spaces and the history of architectural interiors, will need less creativity and more intellectual effort than you anticipate.

Because it allows students to obtain hands-on experience in the real world rather than only in the classroom, internships are an important component of many undergraduate interior design programs.

Post-Baccalaureate Certificates in Interior Design

If you already have a bachelor’s degree and wish to continue your study, a post-baccalaureate certificate may be the best option for you. Interior design certificate programs are available for post-baccalaureate students who want to specialize in areas such as sustainable design or kitchen and bath design. Certificate programs are often shorter than programs leading to a full degree, allowing you to complete your study and begin reaping the advantages of your knowledge more quickly.

Studying Interior Design at the Master’s Level

If just a small percentage of interior designers really hold a master’s degree, why would an aspiring professional in this industry ever consider pursuing such a qualification? Interior design master’s degrees are frequently offered to career changers with bachelor’s degrees and professional experience in a different industry who wish to further their interior design studies. In other cases, established interior designers are pursuing an advanced degree in order to further their careers into leadership, research, or academic positions in the field.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, you may be required to demonstrate your artistic skills through drawings and other work in order to be accepted into a design school.

Working in Interior Design

In residences, public buildings, and commercial constructions, interior designers are in charge of arranging the functioning as well as the aesthetic appeal of the interior spaces. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, interior designers must first comprehend the goals of the customer as well as the purpose and needs of the design process before they can begin working on it (BLS). They must select design components that will work well with the planned usage of the space as well as the movement of people inside that area.

  • Using computer-aided design (CAD) software they develop final design plans after deciding on the appropriate colors, furniture, paint or wallpaper, flooring, lighting fixtures, plumbing fittings, and materials to accomplish the design idea.
  • They must also keep track of the project’s timetable and budget to ensure that it is finished on time and within the allocated budget.
  • They also supervise the construction process.
  • Depending on their specialty, some interior designers specialize in a single sort of fixture, such as lighting, while others specialize in specific types of rooms, such as kitchens and bathrooms.
  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, interior designers made a median pay of $57,060 in 2020.
  • The wholesale trade business, which employs just five percent of interior designers and pays a typical income of $57,300 in 2020, is the second most profitable.
  • Furnishing retailers, which account for five percent of the workforce, offer a median annual income of $47,710 per year.
  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted that job possibilities in all occupations will rise by an average of eight percent between 2020 and 2030.
See also:  How Much Do Interior Designers Make In California

Although interior designer is not one of the employment positions for which statistically significant decreases are projected, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recognized the possibility that the overall number of interior designers occupations may decrease by a couple hundred throughout that time period.

Despite the fact that the area of interior design is not currently thriving, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted that there would be around 7,800 open opportunities for interior designers every year.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over one-third of all interior designers were self-employed as of 2020.

What to Look for in Degrees for Interior Design

Choosing an interior design school is not an easy decision. There are a plethora of alternatives to take into consideration. Some aspects, such as technical competency training, hands-on experience chances, and accreditation may be important to consider while narrowing down your college search. It may come as a surprise to some who misunderstand the responsibilities of interior designer and interior decorator when they learn how crucial technical skill is in this field. A significant portion of the work involves the creation of visual representations, which may include hand-drawn sketches, computer-aided design (CAD) drawings and diagrams, and other means.

Perhaps the most essential component of an interior design degree program is the ability to put your newfound skills and knowledge to use while building an excellent portfolio of your own design work.

In addition, opportunities for internships and other forms of field experience are very useful in this profession, because design is not something that can be fully learned by merely reading textbooks and turning in assignments.

When selecting an interior design degree program, another important factor to consider is the school’s accreditation.

  • The National Association of Schools of Art and Design, which accredits around 300 art and design programs at colleges and universities
  • Accreditation by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation, which has accredited more than 180 interior design programs
  • The National KitchenBath Association, which accredits almost 100 kitchen and bath design specialization schools
  • The National KitchenBath Association

When your interior design program is accredited, it proves that it adheres to the rigorous criteria established by a third party in the industry. Choosing an authorized school may also make the process of obtaining professional certification or licenses more efficient, and prospective employers may favor job seekers who have earned degrees from a recognized university. Resources that aren’t included on this page Is it possible to work as an interior designer without a degree? What are some of the areas of interior design where you should concentrate your efforts?

Interior Design – Dakota County Technical College

This award-winning Interior Design program is a demanding course of study that prepares students to begin their careers in an exciting and vibrant field. The emphasis is on gaining practical knowledge and abilities that will allow you to create settings that are both useful and visually pleasing. The curriculum is architecturally based and investigates the design of space as well as the ornamentation of space. Everything about space is investigated in regard to its influence on human well-being, including its scale and proportions, its layout and lighting, as well as its textures, materials, and color.

Auto-Cad, Revit, Sketch-up, 20/20, Photoshop, and InDesign are some of the most widely used design software programs today.

The students collaborate closely in small groups with their instructors/industry practitioners on projects that grow in size and complexity as they progress through the curriculum.

In addition to a strong technical basis and the ability to cooperate with colleagues, graduates are equipped to offer sustainable interior settings that are tailored to the demands of their customers upon graduation from the program.

Students also have the option of transferring Interior Design credits to a four-year institution of higher learning.


Designing an Interior “DCTC is a fantastic college with really experienced and dedicated lecturers who are always prepared to assist and lead you when you want their assistance or guidance.” Rakhi PenogundaProject Designer, ParametersInterior Design Graduate Rakhi PenogundaProject Designer, Parameters DCTC unquestionably prepared me for knowing what was going on in the real world, and I believe it is this preparation that has enabled me to become a great designer today.” Graduate of the Interior Design program at BDH and Young Interiors and Architecture, Jason Zielsdorf is the Resource Director.

Because the curriculum at DCTC was built in the same same manner an architectural project is structured, I felt confident when I started as an intern that I understood precisely what to anticipate from the rhythm or process of a project when I started as an intern.

It has been an incredible journey, and I owe everything to DCTC.” Design consultant Krista Holen works at Terrazzo and Marble Supply, which provides terrazzo and marble products.

Graduate of the Interior Design program

Program Costs*

Designing an Interior

Interior DesignA.A.S. Degree60 credits Interior Design: NCIDQ PathwayCertificate16 credits
Tuition $185.49/cr. $185.49/cr.
Fees $21.45/cr. $21.45/cr.
Grand Total $12,416.40 $3,311.04

Financial Aid

Step 1: Submit an application for financial assistance right away. Apply for financial aid through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). DCTC’s federal school code is 010402. Step 2: Once you have received an official award letter from DCTC, you may proceed to apply online for a Federal Stafford Student Loan through the Department of Education. For further details, please see theLoanspage.


Designing an Interior

Work Environment

The interior designer collaborates closely with clients, including homeowners and company owners as well as architects, contractors, and other tradesmen. They are commonly employed as part of a design team, notably in the fields of architecture and interior design. A highly competitive profession in which the design process is vital to reaching project deadlines, this can be a challenging field to work in. After graduation, students can find work in a variety of fields, including residential design/architectural businesses, kitchen and bath studios; furnishings; product sales; home building; showrooms; and more.

Job Outlook

There will be a demand for about 1,857 additional Interior Designers to fulfill market demand between 2018 and 2028, according to CAREERwise Education, the state’s career, education, and job resource.

This comprises demand due to replacement (e.g., employees leaving the occupation or retiring) as well as demand owing to expansion.

Job Opportunities

You may see current job advertising for Interior Design graduates on the CollegeCentral Jobs page of DCTC’s CollegeCentral.

Career Information

Designing an Interior

Articulation Agreements

Articulation Agreements are legal agreements between two or more colleges and/or universities that allow credits from one institution to be transferred to another institution for use in a certain academic program. Arranging for students to transfer between DCTC and other schools and universities is a common practice at the college level.

Transfer Resources

MN Transfer.org is your official resource for a smooth transfer experience in Minnesota’s higher education institutions of higher learning. Discover the agreements that DCTC has engaged into with other Minnesota State organizations by consulting this resource.

TransferologyTransfer to Other Institutions

Interested in seeing how your courses transfer to programs at partnering colleges and universities? Fill out the form below. Add the coursework you’ve completed and use Transferology to determine whether or not it will transfer to any of the member schools in the Transferology network of colleges and universities. Create an account and a strategy right now!

Transferring to DCTC?

This program is designed to assist students who have served in the United States Armed Forces or who are studying abroad, as well as those who are transitioning from high school to four-year institutions. For additional information, please see our Transfer Students page.


Designing an Interior Every month of the year, the Interior Design program at DCTC is busy, and it frequently makes news in industry journals. Learn about student achievement in design contests, student field trips to national conferences, and the accomplishments of our interior design educators in this section of the website.

Social Media

As an Interior Design student, you can stay up to date on the newest developments in your program and the design business by following your teachers and other students on social media platforms.


Designing an Interior

How to Become An Interior Designer

If you’re thinking about how to go into interior design, you definitely have a lot of questions. Here are some answers. What are the top educational institutions? So, what exactly are the many types of interior designs? What does it take to get your career as an interior designer off the ground? And what is the typical annual income for interior designers? A profession in interior design is unquestionably a rewarding and fascinating one. If you’re interested in learning more about how to become an interior designer, the following are the essential steps you’ll need to take:

  1. Recognize the responsibilities of an interior designer
  2. Obtain a head start on your internet portfolio
  3. Decide whether or not you want to go to interior design school. Seek out an interior design school of any sort. Interior design schools are comparable. Obtain your Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree. Identifying your specialty and concentrating on it
  4. Investigate the typical compensation of an interior designer. Create a portfolio of your work as an interior designer. Acquire your interior design certification
  5. And

Does this seem overwhelming? Don’t be concerned. You’ve arrived to the correct location. We’ll go through everything you need to know about pursuing a career in interior design with you. First and foremost, what do they do with their time?

What Does an Interior Designer Do?

Interior design is the art of bringing out the best in a space. Interior designers take a room and transform it into something more appealing, useful, and secure. Space planning and product research are among the numerous responsibilities of the role, which also includes negotiating with project stakeholders (home and business owners, builders and retailers), defining schedules, and lastly supervising construction and executing the design.

The profession of career designer, as compared to most other creative careers, may provide greater employment security as well as greater earning possibilities.

How Do I Get Started on Becoming an Interior Designer?

When you’re just getting started in your interior design profession, one of the most important things you can do is keep your online design portfolio up to date. It will assist you to impress school admissions committees as well as future clients. Additionally, if you have been accepted into interior design school or have begun to gain interior designer employment, be sure to keep your portfolio up to date with all of the latest information. Each assignment you complete will help you demonstrate your competence and create your reputation as a professional—all of which will help you gain additional clients in the process.

Do I Need to Attend Interior Design School?

The short answer is no. You are not have to go to interior design school to be successful. Because interior design is such a wide industry, it is feasible to obtain interior designer positions that do not need a bachelor’s degree. For a variety of reasons, though, receiving some hands-on instruction in the field is highly recommended. At the absolute least, you might want to consider enrolling in online courses that will acquaint you with the principles that interior designers must understand.

A Bachelor’s Degree May Be Required

First and foremost, if you wish to work for an interior design business rather than going it alone, you should be aware that most organizations prefer designers who have at least a bachelor’s degree in interior design.

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Your Area May Require a Specific Degree

In addition, several jurisdictions require you to complete a license test before you may use the title of interior designer in your professional capacity. Furthermore, in certain areas, you are not permitted to perform any interior design work at all unless you have a license. A mix of education and experience is required before you can sit for a license test, such as the National Council for Interior Design Qualification exam. Typically, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree and at least two years of on-the-job training to get started.

Interior Designers Need Knowledge on a Range of Topics

While you may have excellent design instincts or previous design experience in other sectors, if you haven’t spent time studying interior design, it’s doubtful that you are familiar with the ins and outs of the industry as a whole. Interior designers, for example, must be knowledgeable with construction laws, inspection requirements, and universal accessibility standards. If all of this seems like too much for you, you might want to try pursuing a career as an interior decorator instead. Interior decorators are mostly concerned with the aesthetics and furnishing of a room, rather than with the design of the area.

Interior Design Programs Can Offer Career Support

Keep in mind that most institutions may provide a great deal of assistance when it comes to seeking employment. Once you graduate from college, having that kind of support might make it lot simpler to begin your professional life. By completing your class, you’ll be able to begin putting together your portfolio. An internship component of the curriculum may be included, which will provide you with valuable hands-on experience while also assisting you in developing contacts in the business.

Are you ready to create an interior design portfolio website that will attract the attention of potential clients? Interior designers will find everything they need here, from beautiful themes to a built-in blogging tool. Begin your risk-free trial with Format right away!

What Should I Look For in an Interior Design College?

Make an effort to locate a school that has received particular interior design certification, such as that from the Council for Interior Design Accreditation. This assures that the institution offers a high-quality curriculum that will be recognized by prospective employers. A second characteristic to look for in these industry-specific institutions is their employment rates. Many colleges that are successful in putting students in design-related industries will make this information known to their students and the public.

This might offer you a better understanding of which universities are the best at educating students for the job market and assisting them in obtaining employment opportunities.

What Sort of Interior Design Course Curriculum Do They Offer?

Investigate the interior design curricula offered by various universities. It will provide you with a better understanding of how much time will be devoted to various sections of the field by the program. This will assist you in selecting one that best meets your professional objectives. Do you intend to work on commercial or residential construction projects? Work solo or as part of a team, according to your preferences. These questions should assist you in identifying a program that is appropriate for your needs.

What are Their Portfolio Requirements?

Take a look at the prerequisites for the school’s portfolio. Some design schools have portfolio criteria that you may find challenging to complete depending on your previous design experience and education. So make sure you thoroughly research all of the criteria well in advance of the deadlines, as you may need to revise your design portfolio in order to match the standards.

Do They Offer Bachelor’s Degrees?

Because a bachelor’s degree is frequently the bare minimum needed for design businesses and becoming a professional interior designer, look for institutions that offer interior design degrees. You may save time and money by enrolling in a shorter interior design school that simply delivers a diploma or other certificate; but, you’ll discover that a diploma or other certificate won’t be worth nearly as much in the field as a degree will.

What are Some of the Best Interior Design Schools?

There are several interior design schools from which to pick. Here are just a handful that are worth your time to investigate more. Our selection of these institutions was based on their continuous placement at or near the top of several interior design school rankings. They are based on polls that question design experts which schools provide the greatest preparation for students wishing to pursue an interior design career.

New York School of Interior Design

This well-regarded institution is dedicated only to the study of interior design.

Its BFA in interior design program has a well-balanced curriculum that students will benefit from. The curriculum combines liberal arts courses with career-oriented courses to prepare students for the beginning of their professional careers after graduation.

Savannah College of Art and Design

Savannah College consistently ranks first or second on rankings of the finest interior design colleges. Its curriculum is nearly exclusively devoted to the fields of art and design. Through six distinct interior design studio classes, students enrolled in the BFA in interior design program receive practical experience. Furthermore, this institution is well-regarded for the strength of its industry and alumni networks.

Parsons School of Design

Founded in 1906, this was the first institution in the United States to provide studies in interior design after being granted accreditation. Due to its strong emphasis on collaborative work, students in its program frequently collaborate with and occasionally alongside students from other programs. This cooperation simulates the collaboration that interior designers must have with experts from different disciplines, and it helps students develop the communication skills that they will need in the future.

  • Pratt Institute, Rhode Island School of Design, George Washington University, Cornell University, and Drexel University are among the schools that have received awards.

What Does an Interior Design Degree Entail?

First and foremost, it is dependent on the sort of degree that is being discussed. When it comes to this discipline, the great majority of colleges and universities offer a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in the subject (BFA). Some universities, on the other hand, offer a Bachelor of Science degree (BS). Students enrolled in BFA in interior design programs could expect to receive a well-rounded education that includes certain general education requirements. BS programs, on the other hand, provide a greater emphasis on the subject topic, with fewer possibilities for general education courses.

In addition, a variety of courses will be offered to equip students with the technical abilities necessary to pursue a career as an interior designer.

Following that, students may be required to participate in an internship or complete a capstone project in which they must use all they’ve learned to finish an interior design project and show their work to an audience.

What Kinds of Interior Design Jobs are Out There?

When it comes to pursuing a career in interior design, there are several options available to you. Interior designers, for example, might be self-employed or employed by businesses such as design firms or house and office construction companies.

Residences, commercial buildings, and historic restoration and preservation are some of the areas in which interior designers might specialize. Interior designers can specialize in a variety of specializations in each of these areas, which are listed below.

  • Depending on their specialization, residential interior designers may work in areas such as kitchen design, bathroom design, or accessibility design. Commercial interior designers are employed in a variety of settings, including offices, restaurants, and hotels. Healthcare institutions and government buildings are two examples of areas in which they may specialize. Interior designers that specialize in historical restoration work with historic buildings. These positions need specialist understanding of historic preservation procedures as well as methods of preserving a building’s historic status. From historic homes and landmarks to museums, the places on which they work might be diverse.

What is the Average Interior Designer Salary?

As reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average interior designer income in 2017 was around $51,000, which corresponds to nearly $25 per hour. The top ten percent of interior designers earned more than $93,000 per year, while the worst ten percent earned less than $27,000 per year on average. 2019 saw a rise in the average compensation of interior designers to $56,040, representing a 9.88 percent gain over the previous year. The income of an interior designer might vary depending on where they work, how much experience they have, and what style of design they specialize in.

From 2018 to 2028, the employment outlook for interior designers is expected to grow by 4 percent.

What Should I Include in My Interior Design Portfolio?

Not to worry if you don’t have a website yet; simply select a website builder that offers stunning layouts that fit the style you’re striving for with your interior design work and you’re good to go. There are several alternatives available that provide free trials, allowing you to choose which one is the best fit for your needs. It is the ease with which website builders are used that makes them so appealing. You will not have to waste time learning coding and can instead concentrate on what really important to you: your creative designs.

  • When selecting photographs for your portfolio, be sure you choose wisely. You may have a large number of photographs to pick from, but you only want to display work that will truly wow your audience. Think about seeking a second opinion from another designer or coworker if you’re having problems determining which photos to remove. Take into consideration some of the methods you might distinguish your portfolio from the competition. A good example is the creation of a memorable logo. It’s a quick and easy approach to express your distinct aesthetic to prospective clients
  • And As an alternative to simply providing photographs, why not create a case study? It will provide you with an opportunity to discuss all of the effort that went into the project as well as why you chose the strategy that you did. It is always possible to present any projects you completed for school or other projects that are linked to interior design if you do not yet have any professional experience
  • If you ever find yourself lacking inspiration, simply browse through some other interior designer portfolios to discover how the finest in the business present their work

Getting My Interior Design Accreditation

If you’re still considering how to become an interior designer, many people may additionally consider obtaining a design qualification after completing their courses in order to distinguish their portfolio from the competition. It contributes to the process of providing formal approval for a designer’s abilities and capabilities. Individuals considering a career as an interior designer may want to consider taking the National Council for Interior Design Exam in order to get certified in the field.

There are three components of the NCIDQ test that must be passed in order to pass: basics, professional, and practical.

This section is intended mostly for students who have not finished their work experience and who are recent graduates or who are in their last year of their program of study.

Finally, designers will be required to take the PRAC interactive test before they can proceed. Interior designers will be evaluated on their talents and design expertise in this computer-based exam, which will employ case studies.

How Should I Start my Career to Become an Interior Designer?

As previously said, one of the best methods to get a jump start on your profession is to enroll in a design school or taking classes specifically developed for interior designers. However, there are skillsets and other vital attributes that may be acquired in addition to formal schooling. Begin to become more familiar with design concepts, textures, and colors by experimenting with them. One of the most significant abilities that designers possess is their attention to detail and their ability to think creatively.

It is possible that fresh ideas and innovations will be inspired by trends and new technologies from other fields.

Taking on pro bono assignments and internships are two more ways to get your career started.

You’ll be able to learn from other designers and receive valuable insight and knowledge from real-world situations.

How do I Become a Self-Employed Interior Designer?

The ability to work for oneself is highly common these days, and interior designers are no exception to this trend. You should choose self-employment if you want complete creative control over your work and the ability to select your own clientele. There are, however, a number of difficulties associated with it. Locating clients will prove to be one of the most difficult aspects of being self-employed. Make your portfolio stand out from the crowd. You want to develop an online portfolio website that will allow you to show off your creativity and work as a designer to potential clients.

When it comes to the design field, networking is quite vital.

Keep in mind to reconnect with prior clients or relationships you may have made while working in previous positions.

Finally, check into job boards and specialty websites to see if there are any openings for a designer to join your team.

Are you interested in pursuing a career as an interior designer?

Let’s get started on finding your first interior design position!

More information on what it takes to achieve your ideal career may be found here. Career Guidance for Design Graduates that is well-designed After Design School, Here Are 10 Things You Should Do. 5 designers share their tips on how to get clients with your portfolio.

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