【Introduction】All of us enjoy the comfort and beauty of indoor spaces brought by interior design. Interior design sounds like a particularly classy profession, and as an industry that will never decline, we believe that many students would be interested in this major. So, in Canada, which schools offer this major? What are the professional skills taught? What are the employment prospects and salaries of graduates of this major? How do netizens and UtoCanada view this major? Let’s take a look!

Introduction to the Canadian interior design major

Interior design is about fulfilling the purpose of enhancing the aesthetics and functionality of an existing interior space. The goal is to create quality works from chosen materials, while adhering to code, regulatory requirements and budgets. Students need knowledge in engineering technology as well as art theory and artistic skills. Interior design evolved from the decorative part of architectural design. Interior design can be divided into two categories: public building space and home. When referring to interior design, there are important terms related to line, space, colour, lighting, function, etc.

Interior design majors in Canada are generally offered at colleges and universities, offering college diploma or undergraduate degree programs. Depending on the needs of students, Canadian colleges offer different courses and encourage students to pursue further professional study. At the same time, students also receive paid internship opportunities offered by employers in cooperation with the university, which give students the opportunity to gain work experience while in school. Interior design graduates can get a chance to visit companies and experience working with a variety of employers, while receiving guidance from the industry’s elites, providing a good promotional space for their future career.
It's worth noting that if you want to enter this major, you should:

  • Have a certain degree of computer proficiency and the ability to draw
  • Have a desire to meet aesthetic, technology and human needs in a highly marketable industry
  • Be able to use creativity, strategic and critical thinking to solve problems
  • Be interested in studying sustainable interior design
  • Enjoy a collaborative and innovative learning environment
  • Have good physical strength and communication skills

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What knowledge and skills do students learn in the Canadian interior design major?

The interior design programs at Canadian colleges and universities are accredited by the Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario (ARIDO) and the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA), including the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), the Interior Designers of Canada (IDC), and the industry standard of the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ). The programs integrate professional and general research, aims to cultivate students' critical thinking and application skills, and focus on international interior designs. Students will learn practical skills in the interior design department in their college/university, and will also establish contact with industry professionals and get guidance.

Specifically, students learn about:

  • 2D and3Dcomputer software technology (includingAUTOCADSketchUpRevitand other design software)
  • Project management skills
  • Sustainability design knowledge
  • Co-op and internship experience
  • Various building systems and construction knowledge

Employment prospects of Canadian interior design graduates

Graduates can find work in interior design companies, construction companies, government planning and facility management offices, healthcare organizations, educational institutes, or other fields related to design and architecture. Graduates will have the skills to work in multi-disciplinary, multicultural design teams in various environments. Over time, with proper experience, some graduates may choose to start their own businesses. Of course, they may also continue their academic research in interior design and related disciplines, such as environmental studies, environmental psychology and architecture.

Employment fields:

Interior design education

Equipment management

Independent interior design studio

LEEDcertification consultation

Interior decoration manufacturing and sales

Real estate development

According to the PayScale description,,

According to the PayScale description,
Most of the time, interior designers work for home or office builders. However, they may have their own businesses. Interior designers must be able to create a space that is aesthetic, functional, and safe. They work to enhance the quality of living or working environment. They must make sure that living or working spaces have appropriate colors, lighting, and decoration. They must follow their client’s instructions. They must be good listeners and must be able to attend to the specific needs of their clients. They are involved in all aspects of the design process.
Most employers require that candidates have a college degree in interior design from an accredited college or university. They must be able to understand architectural drawings. They must be able to use relevant software. They must have excellent graphic skills. They must have excellent presentation and interpersonal skills. They must have good oral and written communication skills. They must work well in a team environment. They must be organized and be able to meet project deadlines.
They must be knowledgeable in current industry standards related to materials and other elements. They must keep themselves up to date with new technology and materials that are available in the market place. They must read relevant professional journals. They may have to attend additional interior design classes and relevant workshops. They may be required to travel to visit prospective clients or to look for new ideas relevant to their profession. They may have to train new interior designers.
Specifically, the job responsibilities of Canadian interior designers are:

  • Plan, design, and furnish interiors of residential, commercial, or industrial buildings.
  • Subcontract fabrication, installation, and arrangement of carpeting, fixtures, accessories, draperies, paint and wall coverings, art work, furniture, and related items.
  • Estimate material requirements and costs, and present design to client for approval.
  • Coordinate with other professionals, such as contractors, architects, engineers and plumbers.

》Salaries for interior design graduates: The decisive factors & annual income

According to PayScale statistics, in Canada, the average annual salary of an interior designer is $46,241 CAD, the lower-end annual salary is at $32,269, and the higher end is at $68,935.

The best schools for interior design in Canada

Ryerson University

According to AZURE magazine, Ryerson University’s School of Interior Design is one of the three largest interior design schools in the world. Its four-year undergraduate degree program aims to achieve a balance between theory and practice, preparing graduates to start their careers, while allowing them to absorb knowledge, while learning about the market and professional practice issues in an immersive learning environment. In order for graduates to become leaders in the design field, the program offers studios and seminars to stimulate creativity, experimentation, problem solving and innovation. Graduates can also qualify for the Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario (ARIDO) and can contribute to the design field through exhibition design, set design, modern office design, independent consultation, organizations, furniture manufacturers, marketing and promotion, etc. Facilities management.

Sheridan College

Sheridan College’s four-year honours interior design bachelor’s degree program has always kept the pace with the ever-increasing professional standards of the interior design industry. Its program is recognized by the Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario (ARIDO), and accredited by thecCouncil for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA), designed to provide students with outstanding employment preparation. Students have a chance to collaborate with interior design professionals with extensive industry experience and will also receive hands-on interior design education. Many graduates are able to directly enter established architectural and interior design companies.

Humber College

Humber College is located in the west of Toronto, Ontario. The four-year bachelor's degree in interior design program is accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA), the Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario (ARIDO) and the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (IDC). The Humber Design Centre features a large, open concept space along with the latest digital imaging and design technologies. With seven open studios, a computer lab and a state-of-the-art resource room, complete with high-end digital cameras to photograph sample boards, the Design Centre is an incredible place to learn and explore.

Algonquin College

It is located in one of the business centres of three major cities in Ottawa. This four-year interior design bachelor's degree program helps students pursue a professional career related to the design of the built environment. The curriculum integrates professional and general studies with an emphasis on critical thinking and applied research, with more emphasis on international interior design. In the fourth year, students have the opportunity to focus on specific areas of interest in the major and need to complete an applied research thesis. The integration of theory, analysis and practice prepare you to assume a leadership role within the profession. Graduates are able to apply strategic thinking and a research orientation to their responsibilities as a professional interior designer and can contribute to the development and evolution of the field of design.

Georgian College

Georgian College is known as "the largest paid internship base in Ontario" and is located in Barrie, Ontario. Georgia College’s four-year honours bachelor’s degree program is located in a multidisciplinary environment in the fields of design and visual arts, providing students with opportunities to interact with other students in interdisciplinary programs. The professors have a high level of professional experience in the field. They teach highly integrated courses, and in design studios to guide students in larger and more in-depth projects. The school also focuses on the application of digital media in the production of construction drawings based on industry standards.

Fanshawe College

Fanshawe College is the sixth largest public college in Canada. The school is located in London, Ontario, Canada. The school's four-year interior design honours bachelor's degree program is accredited by the Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario (ARIDO) and covers commercial and residential design. This interior design degree examines the main aspects of interior design such as problem analysis, concept development, design communication, architecture and business, lighting, drawings and specifications, and cutting-edge design technology. These courses develop the skills of students as creative designers who can formulate, propose and implement creative design solutions for the physical, social and psychological needs of a changing society. The principles of environmental sustainability and social responsibility design run through the curriculum.
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Summary: UtoCanada’s views on the interior design major

Interior design focuses on the planning, design and details of interior spaces to improve the quality of people's living environment. Such a job requires a strong sense of responsibility and first-rate skills. This industry requires designers to master all aspects of the comprehensive usage of interior design, including research, problem analysis, concept development, design communications, drawings and specifications, technology, oral and digital presentation methods, architecture and business practice, etc. Students also learn about environmental sustainability principles of design. A good interior design will provide people with happiness.

Canadian institutions offer internships and field trips of varying lengths, as the students with relevant internship and industry experience are more likely to find their ideal jobs. Students should not only master the use of various electronic devices and software, but also learn to meet different customer needs and have the ability to communicate. More importantly, they should have a strong sense of business, understand brand building, grasp market trends and digital marketing strategies. The schools also offer opportunities to learn from experienced designers, which can greatly enhance the students’ experience and broaden their career outlooks. In terms of hardware, most of the schools in Canada that offer this program have design centres, which arrange regular field trips to design companies all over the world. Students have a wide range of resources and choices. If you want to study interior design in Canada, be sure to choose a school based on your professional background and preferences.