Aesthetics is commonly used to communicate what someone feels about their home or business.
Often, it is so important that people do not trust themselves to do it and hire a professional just for this.
In order to perform the task, it takes training in more than recognizing what looks good on the cover of this month’s magazines.
Maryland has several schools that can help teach what you need to know to become a professional designer.
Article Table of Contents
- 1 Maryland Requirements for Interior Designers
- 2 5 Interior Design Schools in Maryland
- 3 Salary
- 4 Frequently Asked Questions
Maryland Requirements for Interior Designers
There are over twenty states that require licensing to work as an interior designer, with Maryland being one of them.
To apply for certification, applicants must pass the National Council of Interior Design Qualification Examination.
NCIDQ’s examination requirements include:
Official education transcripts need to contain 60 semesters (or 90 quarter) credit hours of interior design coursework resulting in:
- A certificate, diploma, or associate, bachelor, or master’s degree in Interior Design; or
- A bachelor, or master’s degree in Architecture.
- 3,520 work hours earned working two years full-time;
- 5,280 work hours earned working three years full-time; or
- 7,040 work hours earned working four years full-time.
- 1,760 hours of experience earned before graduation may be included in the total hours.
Upon successfully completing the NCIDQ exam, individuals will be eligible to apply for certification through the Maryland Department of Labor Boards and Commissions.
The §8-302 statutory requirements to meet for certification are:
- To qualify for a certificate, an applicant shall be an individual who meets the requirements of this section.
- The applicant shall be of good character and reputation.
- The applicant shall be at least 18 years old.
- The applicant shall:
- file an application and pay a non-refundable application fee in accordance with § 8–303 of this subtitle;
- have satisfied education and experience requirements necessary to qualify for the National Council of Interior Design Qualification Examination or its equivalent, as determined by the Board; and
- have passed the National Council of Interior Design Qualification Examination or its equivalent.
Certifications are valid for two years but may be renewed.
Continuing education is a requirement to maintain a Maryland certification.
For every two-year certificate term, the individual must attend one continuing education unit in two or more courses.
5 Interior Design Schools in Maryland
Not all interior design education is the same.
Some institutions offer certifications, some associate degrees, while others may offer advanced degrees.
It is up to you how far you want to take your education.
Montgomery College has been rated number one of Best Interior Design College & Universities in Maryland.
Montgomery offers Associate Degree (60 credit hours) and Certificate (30 credit hours) options.
Montgomery also offers career coaching for students and graduates.
For the 2021-2022 school year, tuition for Maryland residents is $5,127.00 for 15 credit hours.
Harford Community College
Harford Community College has been rated number two of Best Interior Design College & Universities in Maryland.
Harford offers an Associate Degree in Fine Art, Concentration in Art & Design, though it does not offer any certificate programs.
For the 2021-2022 school year, the tuition fees for the AA or AFA would total $13,800.00.
Anne Arundel Community College
Anne Arundel Community College has been rated number three of Best Interior Design College & Universities in Maryland.
Anne Arundel offers Associate Degree (60 credit hours) and Certificate (35 credit hours) options.
Anne Arundel also accepts credit for proficiency assessments.
For the 2021-2022 school year, tuition for Maryland residents is $2,530.00 for 10 credit hours.
Maryland Institute College of Art
Maryland Institute College of Art has been rated number four of Best Interior Design College & Universities in Maryland.
This college does not specifically have an Interior Design program but does have an Architectural Design undergraduate degree (four-year) program, which allows for taking the NCIDQ exam and certifying with the state.
The tuition rate for this school is $50,160.00 for a full-time academic year.
College of Southern Maryland
The College of Southern Maryland offers a training certification program consisting of three courses: Introduction to Interior Decorating and Design; Interior Decorating and Design II; and Application of Interior Decorating and Design.
At only $235 per credit for Maryland residents, this is one of the most economic paths to becoming an interior designer.
CSM offers campuses in the La Plata, Hughesville, Prince Frederick, and Leonardtown areas.
Interior Design Schools in Maryland – Summary Table
|Montgomery College||20200 Observation Drive, Germantown, MD 20876|
|Harford Community College||401 Thomas Run Road Bel Air, MD 21015-1627|
|Anne Arundel Community College||101 College Parkway | Arnold, MD 21012-1895|
|Maryland Institute College of Art||1300 W Mount Royal Ave Baltimore, MD 21217|
|College of Southern Maryland||8730 Mitchell Rd, PO Box 910, La Plata, MD 20646|
The 2022 median salary for interior designers is $48,769.00, with Baltimore, Maryland, coming in slightly higher at $50,135.00.
Salary for interior designers can fluctuate depending on a few main factors, with education being one of those.
Designers with a Master’s of Fine Art in Interior Design can get away with charging more than someone who only has a certificate due to receiving significantly more formalized training.
Years of experience will also play a role, as someone with a certificate and a thick portfolio may be considered more qualified for work than a fresh MFA graduate.Annual Salary Range: Annual Salary by Location:
|Location||Avg. Annual Salary|
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the fastest path to interior design in Maryland?
The fastest path to becoming an interior designer in Maryland would be to obtain a diploma (certificate) that qualifies for the NCIDQ’s examination requirements, which would require significantly less time than pursuing an advanced degree.
Completion of the diploma and interning for a design company that directly hires interns would be the fastest possible route.
What are the trade offs of a certificate over a degree?
Though a certificate is faster, many employers prefer a degree.
Additionally, when breaking into interior design, you will be competing with other fresh graduates.
If you approach a prospective employer with only a certificate and an internship, while your competition has the same internship but an associate’s degree, the other applicant will appear to be more qualified on paper even if you are the better designer.