Online degrees in the field of interior design are available for those students who would like to receive a distance learning qualification in this area, but they aren't common and are offered by only a few postsecondary and tertiary educational institutions.
General Information about Online Degrees in Interior Design
Online interior design degrees are available at the associate level, the bachelor's level and the master's level, but it does not appear that any online educational institution has, as yet, developed an online interior design doctoral program. Should students wish to practice in the field of interior design and obtain a full qualification online, then they should research the online programs available at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco as, at present, this institution offers online interior design degree programs at the associate, bachelor's and master's levels.
Although there aren't many degrees in interior design available online, there are quite a few online career certificates, diplomas and other course qualifications in the subject. Schools that offer these courses include:
Online Interior Design Degrees at the Bachelor's Level
Bachelor's degrees are usually completed within four years and, although they do include a certain level of specialization, they are not as specialized as master's degrees. They are usually the most popular degrees and there is thus a correspondingly larger selection of online bachelor's degrees in interior design than either associate or master's degrees. Again, a student studying online will be able to work at his or her own pace and complete the program in less than four year.
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design: Rocky Mountain College of Arts and Design
Bachelor of Science in Interior Design: The Art Institute of Pittsburgh
This degree program offers a student the opportunity to build their own interior design portfolio while being trained in such aspects of the field as exhibit, hospitality and retail store design as well as 3D design and space planning. The program also has a highly practical and technical side to it in that students will be trained to communicate interior design concepts through the use of the types of visual media that are found in the interior design profession. The degree comprises program courses (117 credits), program electives (3 credits of which 1 can be selected) and general education courses (60 credits) and includes such individual subjects as:
- History of Furniture: 1830 to present (program course);
- Theory and Development of Form (program course);
- Computer 3D Architectural Model Making (program course);
- Interior Architectural Systems and Detailing (program course); and
- Residential Design: Kitchen and Bath (elective program course).
Those wanting to request further information concerning this degree program, or perhaps to register for it, can contact The Art Institute of Pittsburgh directly care of their Online Division Administrative Office
Bachelor of Science in Interior Design: Westwood College
Although this degree program does not provide certification - and students would have to take further examinations in the subject to acquire this - the program is well rounded and provides students with training in subjects ranging from the history of interior design to safety and building codes and computer aided design (CAD). The skills imparted by this program are both practical and theoretical, and, while the practical courses include such things as drawing and drafting, the theoretical courses include subjects like interior design business practices and professional responsibilities and ethics. Individual courses offered by this degree program include:
- Visualization and Portfolio;
- Residential CAD Design;
- Commercial CAD Design;
- Digital Walkthrough; and
- Space Planning.
Students who want to obtain further information regarding this degree program can contact Westwood College.
Online Interior Design Degrees at the Master's Level
At present, there appears to be only one master's degree in interior design available online. A master's degree takes an average of two years to finish and generally requires a student to complete a master's thesis, capstone project or final project.
Master in Fine Arts - Interior Architecture and Design: Academy of Art University
The Academy of Art University offers associate, bachelor's and master's degrees in the arts / fine arts with an interior architecture and design course concentration and a student can therefore remain at this institution for the entire length of his education. The master's program offers a range of highly specialized subjects and also requires a student to complete a Final Project. The program's eligibility requirements are rather strenuous, however, and include a letter of intent stating why a student wants to enroll, letters of recommendation and a portfolio that is representative of the student's work in his requested area of specialization. Individual courses that are available through this program will include:
- Sketching and Perspective for Interior Environments;
- Sacred Geometry;
- Concept, Theory and The Design Process;
- Sustainable Design and the Built Environment; and
- Building Information Modeling.
More information about this degree program can, again, be obtained from the Academy of Art University, at the address listed above.
Online Interior Design Degrees at the Doctoral Level
At present, there does not appear to be any online interior design degree programs available at this level.
Career Opportunities and Salary Scales
Several broad areas of practice are available to students who hold qualifications in interior design and, apart from basic commercial and residential interior design, these include architectural draftsmanship, space and facilities planning and furniture design and manufacture. Positions are also open in the retail and wholesale industries relevant to the sale of interior design products and equipment, and the performing arts is another area where interior designers can work as, for instance, set and lighting designers for both stage and screen. Another discipline in which those qualified in interior design can work is teaching as qualified instructors are required to teach both on-campus and online interior design courses and degrees.
Studies have been performed to determine the average annual salary that people who are qualified in various areas of the field of interior design receive and the results of these studies are as follows:
- Interior designer with 5 years experience: $37,500;
- Architectural draftsman with 5 years experience: $35,000;
- Facilities planner or space planner with 5 years experience: $45,000;
- Sales representative in the interior design industry with 5 years experience: $40,000;
- Project designer with 5 years experience: $35,000;
- Furniture designer with 5 years experience: $38,000;
- Set and exhibit designer with 5 years experience: $34,000; and
- AutoCAD designer with 5 years experience: $38,500;
- Computer aided designer with 5 years experience: $39,000; and
- Senior interior designer with 5 years experience: $43,000.
Although distance learning programs in interior design are not common, they are available and a student who wishes to obtain a full qualification in this field online can do so.