interior design

Apprenticeship and Interior Design Schools

Although it is not necessary for successful designers to go to interior design schools, there are still certain organizations that regard them as essential to demonstrate training and capability. Interior design schools are, therefore, located in major cities all over the United States and beyond.

Every interior design school tends to be a little different with a slightly varying focus, however, as with all education the courses and subjects you learn about at school simply prepare you to enter the workforce and do not indicate any real capability to satisfy a particular client. Those skills are not learned in an interior design school but learned though many projects with other designers and perhaps an apprenticeship.

American University Programs

The existence of a separate interior design school is rare. Interior design schools are typically integrated into a larger Design and Technology entity or included as part of an Art program within a major university. However, it has become quite fashionable to obtain a degree in Interior Design and, therefore, a large number of programs are available today. There are also online programs available as well.

The major issue with taking a program at an interior design school, is determining exactly what does it teach the student. What differentiates a designer from a decorator in most states is the maintenance of education in the subject and practical experience with established credentials. This is what used to be called an apprenticeship.

Interior Design Apprenticeship

It used to be understood that in any trade, whether a doctor, lawyer or an interior designer, education was only a part of learning that trade. Today the lines are being blurred in Interior Design as many college graduates leave their interior design school with a piece of paper that says that they can design, and certification or entry into key organizations is approved at that point. This should simply not be the case; a lawyer or doctor does not come straight out of school and is then allowed to operate independently. The doctor or lawyer must go through an intern program or practice as an associate before they are granted their own license.

Because one is able to tell the difference between red and green does not mean that they know how to use these colors appropriately in someone’s living room. That takes years of understanding, listening to the client’s voice not your own, and learning from an experienced designer. That is why an interior design apprenticeship period should be required before any form of certification is granted or entry into a particular society.

Interior design schools are helpful as they can provide the attendee with some basic competencies in a dedicated environment. These skills can also be learned in the apprenticeship as well, and then tested if necessary. However, what sets the true interior designer apart is their capability to take the budget, the environment, the client’s perspective and the client’s spoken words into account when building the environment they will live in.


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interior design