Deciding on the best interior design certification programs to go for depends on where you are in your career journey. Hence, what’s best for one person, may not be for another. Nonetheless, we have made a list of different programs that you can consider at any level as an interior designer. Whether you are starting out or are already a professional looking for advanced study opportunities, there is an option for everyone.
You can find the interior design certification programs discussed here in different schools across Canada. Although some schools do not offer all the programs, most colleges offer a good number of them. Simply do a little background research to find schools where you can apply to study these programs.
Best Interior Design Certification Programs You Can Study in Canada
1. Bachelor of Interior Design (BID)
If you are looking to start a career in interior design, the Bachelor of Interior Design is one of the best interior design certification programs for you. It equips you with the knowledge, skills, and practical experience you need for a successful career in the industry. Through coursework and studio projects, you develop expertise in design principles, spatial planning, materials, and sustainability, while also honing your creative and technical abilities.
Furthermore, completing a BID program in Canada opens doors to the Canadian interior design market, which is in demand, particularly in urban centres. You will benefit from diverse perspectives and cultural insights, enriching the learning environment. You also have opportunities to network with industry professionals, professors, and peers, potentially leading to valuable connections and career opportunities.
Typically, this program takes a period of four years to complete in most Canadian Universities.
You can find some of the Canadian schools offering Bachelor of Interior Design here.
2. Diploma in Interior Design
A Diploma in Interior Design in Canada typically spans about two to three years of full-time study, offering comprehensive education in interior design. The program covers design theory, space planning, materials, and other core aspects. Students gain hands-on experience through studio courses and create a portfolio showcasing their design skills. This diploma prepares graduates for entry-level interior design roles or as a foundation for further education.
Some diploma programs provide practical experience opportunities through internships or co-op placements. Also, accredited programs align with industry standards, potentially making graduates eligible for professional certifications like the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ). Overall, a Diploma in Interior Design offers a structured and in-depth education, making graduates well-equipped for careers in the interior design industry.
If you are unable to secure a BID program, a diploma is a good start. It serves as a stepping stone to higher educational and professional achievements in interior design. Below are some schools in Canada that offer diploma programmes. Keep in mind that some of these schools rather have interior design-related programs like interior decorating.
- Sheridan College – Oakville, Ontario
- Humber College – Toronto, Ontario
- George Brown College – Toronto, Ontario
- Algonquin College – Ottawa, Ontario
- LaSalle College – Montreal, Quebec
- Lethbridge College – Lethbridge, Alberta
- Bow Valley College – Calgary, Alberta
- St. Clair College – Windsor, Ontario
- NAIT (Northern Alberta Institute of Technology) – Edmonton, Alberta
- CDI College – Various locations in Canada
3. Certificate Programs
Certificate programs in Interior Design are shorter than diploma and BID, typically one to two years in length. Hence, they provide a foundational education in interior design principles. This makes them one of the best interior design certification programs for beginners. They cover essential topics such as design theory, space planning, materials, and colour theory, offering a fundamental understanding of interior design concepts. These programs often include hands-on studio projects for practical experience.
Graduates of certificate programs are well-prepared for entry-level positions in the interior design industry, such as design assistants or junior designers. These programs serve as a quicker pathway to enter the job market and help individuals decide if pursuing a more extensive interior design education is their desired path. Certificate programs are concise and focused, making them a suitable choice for you if you are seeking introductory knowledge and basic design skills in the field.
4. Industry-Specific Certifications
As the name says, these programs offer specialized and focused training in specific aspects of interior design, such as kitchen and bath design, lighting design, or sustainable design. They equip students with in-depth knowledge and practical skills related to their chosen specialization. The duration varies but is generally shorter than full-degree programs, making them accessible for those seeking expertise in niche areas of interior design.
Graduates of these programs gain specialized expertise, making them competitive candidates for roles in their chosen fields. The hands-on learning approach allows students to apply their knowledge directly to real-world design projects. Earning industry-recognized certifications or credentials can enhance their credibility and open doors to specialized career opportunities within the interior design industry.
This is a perfect study option for you if you already have a degree in interior design and are looking to bolster your career. However, ensure that you go for programs that are over six months to enable you to qualify for a study permit to Canada. It is also important to consider your desired area of interest when making a choice. Examples of these programs include:
- Certified Kitchen Designer (CKD)
- Certified Bathroom Designer (CBD)
- National Council on Qualifications for Lighting Professionals (NCQLP)
- Certified Nutritional Retailer and Designer (CNRD)
- Certified Healthcare Interior Designer (CHID)
- Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS)
- Certified Bathroom Environmental Consultant (CBEC)
5. Continuing Education
These programs offer specialized and flexible education opportunities for individuals seeking to enhance their skills or knowledge in interior design. They cover specific topics like advanced design techniques, sustainability practices, or software training. Unlike full-degree programs, Continuing Education programs are typically shorter in duration and designed to accommodate working professionals or those with busy schedules. Hence they are the They provide targeted education without the commitment of a long-term academic program. So, if you intend to juggle work and school, CEPs may be the best interior design certification programs for you.
Continuing Education certificates or credentials can also enhance career prospects by keeping professionals updated on industry trends and specialized areas. The flexibility of these programs, with options for evening, weekend, or online classes, allows individuals to balance their education with other commitments. Whether you are an industry professional looking to stay current or an individual seeking to explore a specific aspect of interior design, Continuing Education programs offer accessible and specialized learning opportunities that you can explore to study in Canada.
The programs listed here are some of the best interior design certification programs for Nigerians who wish to study in Canada because they either serve as a good starting point for beginners or an avenue to level up as a professional. Keep in mind that some of these programs are similar. So, if you are unable to secure one type, you can try an alternative program. For instance, if you cannot get a diploma, you can try a certificate program.
It is also helpful to keep an open mind towards other interior design-related certifications. This is because some schools may offer related courses like interior decoration and interior design technology.