The profession of Interior Design has changed markedly over the years, especially in the past decade. Interior Designers are considered creative problem solvers and are valued team members in the construction industry. They must be familiar with interior building materials and technology as well as health and safety codes. Interior Designers make ecologically conscious design decisions to preserve the environment. They must understand the fundamental relationship of interior design, architecture, and the visual and decorative arts. Designers prepare drawings and documents relative to the design of interior spaces to protect the health safety and welfare of the public.

A growing number of states now require interior designers to be certified or licensed. In California, there is a Certified Interior Designer’s Law. A “Certified Interior Designer” (CID) means a person who prepares and submits nonstructural or non-seismic plans to local building departments which are of sufficient complexity so as to require the skills of a licensed contractor to implement them, and who engages in programming, planning, designing, and documenting the construction and installation of nonstructural or non-seismic elements, finishes and furnishings within the interior spaces of a building, and has demonstrated by means of education, experience, and examination the competency to protect and enhance the health, safety, and welfare of the public. See for California requirements.

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Professional And Trade Organizations

Many Interior Designers are members of professional design organizations such as the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) and the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA). These national design organizations have their own eligibility requirements separate from California’s law. More information on these design organizations and their eligibility requirements may be found on their websites at;, and  ASID and IIDA require passage of the NCIDQ exam and NKBA requires passage of the CKB and CKD exams. See and for more information regarding their eligibility requirements.

The Interior Design Program begins to prepare students to take the examinations required for the above organizations. Additional courses can be taken in the Interior Design, Architecture, and  Building Construction Technology programs which provide expanded educational knowledge to better prepare students for the examinations as well as the practice of interior design.  See Additional Courses under Program for a listing of these courses.

Many Interior Designers are also members of trade associations such as the International Furnishing and Design Association and The Hospitality Industry Network (NEWH).

Career Opportunities in Interior Design

Public demand for design services has grown rapidly and consequently design graduates have many career opportunities. The Interior Design program at Mesa College prepares students for successful careers in residential and commercial design as well as many specialty areas.  Some of the many career opportunities that exist for interior designers include, but are not limited to:

Residential Design
Contract Design
Kitchen and Bath Design
Hotel/ Hospitality Design
Healthcare Design
Retail Design
Furniture Design
Lighting Design
Facilities Design and Management
Textile Design
Model Home Design
Universal Design/ ADA specialist
Product Design
Manufacturer’s Representative
Product Sales Specialist