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Interior Design

Program Requirements: 

The Interior Design profession is exciting and diverse, demanding both creative and technical solutions to enhance the wellbeing and aesthetic sense of clients. Interior designers can work in a variety of areas that include retail kitchen and bathroom design, flooring and furniture sales and home furnishing design. A good interior designer has strong communication skills, is inquisitive, creative and a problem solver, who can develop designs that fit a client’s criteria and budget. Students of Gateway Technical College’s Interior Design associate degree program will learn to take a design concept and make it reality by preparing the necessary renderings, construction documents, specifications and budgets. Many of these course projects are based on real-life clients, giving students valuable experience and building their portfolios.

What does an interior designer do?

An exciting variety of possible career paths await graduates of Gateway’s Interior Design associate degree program. Job opportunities include custom furniture designer, independent interior designer, showroom consultant, commercial designer, CAD drafter, window treatment sales associate, home stager and event planner.

Learning by doing

Gateway’s Interior Design degree program is filled with exciting hands-on learning opportunities putting concepts learned in the classroom into practice in a variety of projects. Students have access to the Creative Resource Center and computer lab where they can work on projects and class assignments. The center has catalogs and trade magazines, fabric, paint and carpet samples, among other interior finishing items. In the computer lab, students have access to state-of-the-art computer software including: AutoCAD, CAP Studio, 20/20 for Kitchen and Bath Design, Sketch-Up, and Adobe Creative Suites.


Beyond the classroom, students can design a room including furnishings and complete the installation at Gateway’s Center for Sustainable Living. Students also design and install a room each spring for the Milwaukee NARI student interior design competition. These opportunities provide students with the opportunity to network with industry professionals and build their portfolio.


Internships with area and national businesses provide students with an introduction to careers in the interior design industry and help students develop a professional network. Students also attend the Wisconsin Chapter of the American Society of Interior Design (ASID) Career Day, which provides helpful seminars and great opportunities for networking with professionals. Gateway’s Student Chapter of ASID, sponsors a number of unique student activities including guest speakers, social gatherings and field trips. The organization also plans an annual “Chair-ity” Auction. This service learning opportunity features redesigned chairs created by students with recycled furniture. Auction proceeds benefit club activities as well as a local charity, chosen by students. There are annual field trips to the Chicago Merchandise Mart, Kohler Design Center, and the Kitchen & Bath Industry trade show in Chicago allowing students an opportunity to see the latest industry trends.

Job and salary outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of interior designers is expected to grow 19 percent through 2020. An increasing interest in interior design and awareness of its benefits will increase demand for designers. The median annual salary of interior designers was $48,400 in 2014. The Interior Design program’s curriculum is aligned with the American Society of Interior Design, a professional organization for interior designers in the United States and Canada. Program graduates may become allied members of ASID giving them a step ahead with potential employers.



Rita Serpe

Program Administration

Ray Koukari, Interim Dean