A career in interior design involves transforming interior spaces in order to make them more aesthetically pleasing and functional.
It requires a psychological understanding of human behavior within a specific space, a deep understanding of color theory, and being cognizant of the effect of spatial distances between objects.
Each state has specific requirements that need to be met in order for an individual to be deemed qualified to practice in this field.
Article Table of Contents
- 1 Colorado State Requirements for Interior Designers
- 2 5 Interior design schools in Colorado
- 3 Salary
- 4 Frequently Asked Questions
Colorado State Requirements for Interior Designers
The state of Colorado requires that an individual receive a formal education, obtain training on the job, and pass a state exam in order to be a licensed interior designer.
According to the Council for Interior Design Qualification (CIDQ), the requirements to qualify to take the state exam are:
- A 2-year associate’s degree with 3 520 work hours/industry experience
- A 3-year degree with 5 280 work hours/industry experience
- A 4-year bachelor’s degree with 7 040 work hours/industry experience
Ultimately, the longer you are in school, the less hands-on experience is required to take the state exam.
The website goes on to state that the transcripts must include a minimum of 60 semesters or 90 quarter credit hours.
The state exam is offered by the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ).
Supervisors, who must be qualified designers themselves, that account for the student’s work experience, are also subject to qualifying criteria:
- The supervisor must be NCIDQ Certified
- The individual must be licensed/certified/registered in the United States or Canada
5 Interior design schools in Colorado
The following schools are the top-ranked schools in the state of Colorado for interior design courses:
Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design
This school offers a bachelor’s degree in fine arts that is accredited by Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA).
Fees range from $602 per credit hour for online courses and $693 per credit hour for on-campus courses.
Program highlights include space planning, lighting design, manual drafting, computer-aided design (CAD), construction documents/contracts, hospitality design, and environmental and human behavior.
Colorado State University
The university offers a bachelor’s of science degree in Interior Architecture and Design.
The course is certified by CIDA.
The program focuses on environmental, historical, and cultural perspectives.
The foundation of this course is centered around research-based problem-solving.
Key focus areas of the course include space planning, sustainable design strategies, creative problem-solving, and more.
Course fees start at $30,495 per academic year.
Arapahoe Community College, Littleton
This public university is based in Littleton, Colorado, and offers an associate’s degree program.
This is a two-year, full-time program.
The institution also offers a four-year bachelor’s degree.
Students can opt to find work in order to start earning experience or can use this program as an entry fulfillment for a four-year bachelor’s degree.
The program is accredited by the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA).
The program offerings include spatial design, commercial design, the history of interior design, sustainable design, ketchup, and more.
The course prices vary between in-state and out-of-state students.
Fees typically start at $5,477 per academic year.
Front Range Community College
The public college, situated in Westminster, Colorado, offers a two-year associate’s degree in interior design known as The Interior Architecture & Design program.
The program focuses on CAD, interior design, architecture as well as other skills that are required for a career in interior design.
Students’ skills are sharpened through training in visual elements and principles of design.
Students are trained to create design graphics through the use of various techniques such as sketching, computer-assisted programs, and manual drafting.
The course duration is four semesters and features 65 credit hours.
The fees per academic year start at $5,708.
Pikes Peak Community College
This public university is based in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
The university offers an associate of science degree in interior design.
The duration of the program is four semesters.
Students are educated in the principles of design as well as how to use design software programs.
The university prepares students for the working world by developing the business skills of the students and by offering to help students get hands-on experience in the working world with industry professionals.
The course outline includes an understanding of the fundamentals of interior design, textures, textiles, drafting, graphic communication, and much more.
College tuition is $5,526 per academic year.
Interior Design Schools in Colorado – Summary Table
|Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design||1600 Pierce Street Denver, CO, 80214|
|Colorado State University||Fort Collins, Colorado 80523|
|Arapahoe Community College, Littleton||5900 S. Santa Fe Drive Littleton, CO 80120|
|Front Range Community College||3645 W. 112th Ave. Westminster, CO 80031|
|Pikes Peak Community College||5675 S. Academy Blvd. Colorado Springs, CO 80906|
According to salary.com the entry-level salary for a position in interior design starts at $29,469 per annum.
As with any career, the more experience the individual becomes, the higher the salary climbs.
The mid-range salary for this position is $48,769 per annum.
And licensed professionals with extensive experience can expect to earn $57,774 per annum.
These numbers point to the national average for this position.
Keep in mind that the salary amount will differ from one geographical area to the next.Annual Salary Range:
|Location||Avg. Annual Salary|
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I take the interior design exam in Colorado with ten years of industry experience?
Unfortunately, you cannot take the exam with experience alone.
You will need to have completed a certain number of credit hours at a suitably qualified and accredited university.
Do interior designers need a license in Colorado?
While there are many companies in the state of Colorado that take in individuals and allow them to work under internships in the field of interior design, these individuals may not wear the title of the interior designer until they have taken the state exam.
Who qualifies to take the NCIDQ Examination?
Candidates with a degree, diploma, or certificate in interior design.
Or candidates who have obtained a bachelor’s degree in architecture abroad.
Read the full guide: How to Become a Certified Interior Designer