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Degree Overview: Associate of Science (A.S.) Degree in Interior Design Technology

Majors Overview April 7, 2014

The skills that are required for jobs in interior design can be obtained through Interior Design Technology degree programs; skills in marketing, communication, and technical are required. Architectural design, computer-aided design, and oral and visual presentation techniques are commonly covered in the associate’s degree program.

Associate of Science (A.S.) Degree Programs in Interior Design Technology

Coursework in associate’s degree programs in Interior Design Technology is devised to teach students the principles of design and technology, and the way the two can be employed in the arrangement of furniture, and selection of the color and material of interior furnishings. A project or practicum is included in most projects, which would facilitate the application of knowledge by students in resolving interior design problems for businesses. Students can pursue either Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) or Associate of Science (A.S.) options. Community colleges and technical schools are among the most common institutions that offer these 2-year programs. Accelerated programs are offered by some schools, wherein students can complete the coursework within 18 months.

Admission criteria typically require applicants to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma.


Apart from general education courses, core coursework in technical and theoretical aspects of interior design must also be completed. Drafting and CAD will also be studied. Coursework may include topic areas such as:

•Residential design
•Kitchen and bath design
•Interior design graphics
•Lighting design
•Architectural drafting

Certification and Continuing Education Choices

After they complete an associate degree program, graduates can pursue entry-level careers as interior design assistants or opt for continued education by earning a bachelor’s degree in Interior Design. Coursework in a 4-year bachelor’s degree program is devised to expand on the information imparted through the associate’s degree program, and students are taught about the application of sound design methodology and resolution of spatial issues. Graduates of the bachelor’s degree program can pursue occupation as product designers, CAD technicians, and showroom designers and managers.

Licensure is mandatory for interior designers in some states. Certification for interior designers is administered by the National Council for Interior Design Qualifications (NCIDQ); the credential can be obtained by gaining six years of combined work experience and education, with at least two years at the postsecondary level. Thus, an associate degree graduate with four years of work experience can become a certified interior designer. The validity of the certification is limited to a year.

Job and Wage Outlook

A job growth rate of 19% has been projected for interior designers during the decade from 2008 to 2018 (U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS)). The increase is expected to be driven by increasing demands for interior designers by both homeowners and businesses. Better opportunities may arise for individuals with knowledge of ergonomics, which involves the designing of items to ensure the best fit on the human body; knowledge of green design would also be beneficial for job seekers. In May 2012, interior designers earned an average annual wage of $47,600 (BLS).

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