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Online Interior Design Degrees

Interior designers are responsible for a building's aesthetic appearance, functionality and usability. These professionals draw upon extensive knowledge in building materials, furnishings, paint, carpeting, flooring, lighting, artwork, window treatments and decorative accents. Designers work with architects and clients to ensure that buildings -- residential, business or industrial -- have an interior that provides comfort, ergonomic features and accessibility for all.

As an interior designer, you may be self-employed or work with architectural and design firms, showrooms, and furniture companies. Your skill sets may include reading blueprints, interior schematics or landscape plans, as well as familiarity with design and business software and a strong aptitude for customer/client communications. You may also specialize in a niche, such as residential buildings, industrial interiors, corporate offices, health care facilities and schools.

Inside look at online interior design degrees

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that employers are seeking candidates with associate or bachelor's degrees for entry level positions in interior design. The state where you practice may require that you pass a licensing examination sponsored by the National Council for Interior Design Qualification. Online interior design degree programs are a convenient way for working professionals to keep current with industry knowledge.

For beginners, undergraduate online interior design degrees typically include studies in building materials, fabrics, color coordination, furniture design, CAD, perspective drawing, business communications and industry trends. Both on-campus and online interior design degree programs may require an apprenticeship or internship, which could help you build a portfolio of work along with professional contacts in the field.

Interior design career outlook and salary

Interior designers are found in various settings: About 30 percent hold positions with design companies and boutiques, 14 percent are employed in architectural and landscape architectural firms, and 9 percent work with home furnishing or furniture stores, as of 2008 data from the BLS. The median annual wage in 2010 was $46,280, with the high end of the scale at $84,900. The BLS projects employment growth for interior designers from 2008 to 2018 of about 19 percent, which is higher than average.

Homeowners are expected to continue using these specialists to plan new additions, remodel kitchens and bathrooms, design home theaters and create outdoor living spaces. In addition, the health care industry may need more design services to create facilities for an aging population. You can find various trends affecting the industry, including environmentally friendly design, security concerns and ergonomics.