Interest in interior design schools is consistently high, perhaps because interior design is such a vibrant, creative profession. Interior designers are in demand for their skills at creating inviting, livable interior spaces, utilizing their knowledge of texture, color, composition, design, lighting, as well as creating spaces that can be environmentally-friendly and safe for the public. Interior design schools equip graduates with the degrees necessary to gain entry-level positions within the interior design industry. Degrees from an accredited college of interior design assures employers and clients that you have the necessary skills and experience to provide creative solutions to design problems.
An interior design career can be very lucrative, with designers making an average of around $40, 000 (according to Bureau of Labor Statistics) but many earning much more than that. To become an interior designer, one must graduate from an accredited interior design program and pass the National Conference of Interior Design Qualifications exam. The following are some interior design specialties that might interest you:
- Interior decorating
- Interior design
- Set design
- Commercial interior design
- Exhibit design
- Lighting design
- Space planner
You can learn all of these specialties by earning an interior design degree. How long will it take you to earn your degree? The top interior design schools are generally four year programs, though it is possible to attend an online interior design school or earn an AA degree that will get you in the marketplace faster. As with any other degree program, the longer your commitment to education, the more qualified you become for careers upon graduation.
Our simple search engine can help you to find the perfect school for your interior design education. When researching interior design programs, you may want to consider the quality of the faculty, average class size, the school’s reputation or ranking, the school’s record in finding graduates jobs, as well as location and cost of tuition.
What does it take to establish a successful interior design career? Interior designers are creative and have an eye for good design. They must also have an expert color sense and a flair for arranging furniture or other elements. Beyond aspects of design, those interested in a career in interior design will also need to learn about business practices, presentation skills, and communicating with clients. With the necessity to master all of these varying skills, you can see why choosing a top interior design school is very important.
If you are worried about paying for your education, it is important to keep a couple of things in mind. First of all, there are many financial aid programs available to help you with tuition. If you are concerned about taking out a loan, remember that many interior designers are able to establish financially rewarding careers that will make it easy for you to pay back your loan. Second, many interior design schools can help you look for scholarships and other opportunities. The American Architecture Foundation, the International Furnishings and Design Association, and the American Society of Interior Designers Educational Foundation all have scholarship programs that are worth looking into.
What Can An Interior Design School Offer You?
Interior design school can set you on your way to a lucrative career option. Interior design schools train students to attain certificate programs such as BFA, BA, MFA and MA programs in interior design. As a student you can pick a program that best suits your career aspirations.
What is Interior Design?
Interior design is a process that involves converting a selected space into an aesthetically pleasing, yet functional environment. This conversion is based on the end use of the selected area. For example, the interior design of a kitchen will vary greatly from the design of a bedroom or dining area.
An interior design career will normally include three distinct project phases which are planning, design, and execution. As an interior designer you will need to work in close collaboration with your client. You will need to incorporate their ideas with your creativity to meet their demanding level of satisfaction.
Creativity, imagination, and lateral thinking will go a long way in ensuring that you become a good interior designer. As a successful interior designer, you should be practical and achieve desired results within a specified time and at a reasonable cost.
A Formal Education
A formal education in interior design is highly recommended. In most interior design schools, the major emphasis lies on drafting courses, however coursework will also introduce you to current trends in design, rules and regulations, safety requirements, and other industry standard practices.
For the benefit of students who do not have time to attend a full time program, online interior design schools offer flexible degree programs. These programs are often very similar to on campus programs and students who registers for these online programs can chose their time of study and take their classes from the comfort of their homes.
Selecting a college for pursuing your interior design degree depends on your goals and present qualifications.
If you are already employed and are interested in becoming a professional interior designer, a certificate program in interior design can be an ideal option. This will allow you to continue to study towards a BFA or a BA program at a later date.
If you are aspiring to be an interior designer, BFA and BA programs are offered by many interior design schools. This will provide a good foundation for a successful career.
If you already have an undergraduate degree, the MFA program is worth pursuing if you wish to gain specialized skills and knowledge. A Master’s degree in interior design can provide an added advantage over the competition.
Interior Design Jobs
Once you obtain an interior design degree, you can join a company as a trainee designer under an experienced designer. At this stage, you need to concentrate your efforts in leaning from the experience of others. It will give you a good base on which to build your practical work skills.
Some interior designers go on to create their own design businesses. However, this is a choice most suited for those who already have sufficient experience and exposure in this field. Most four-year degree programs require students to complete business and marketing courses in order to gain necessary business skills to become a freelance designer or entrepreneur.
If you decide to be self-employed after obtaining a degree from a top interior design school, you should understand that there may not be regular monthly income. However, you will enjoy more flexible working hours.
Nature of Work
The basic work of a professional who takes up an interior design career involves design of interiors of buildings. The range of activities performed by any interior designer will include:
- Meet and negotiate with clients. Exchange of ideas and analysis of requirements and budgets.
- Develop basic plans to suit requirements within constraints such as physical dimensions and budgets.
- Prepare basic design sketches for customer approval.
- Develop color schemes, lighting, fabrics, and furnishings and other fittings.
- Prepare preliminary cost estimates.
- Obtain client approvals that may require rework and redesigning.
- Finalize the work contract with the client.
- Prepare detailed drawing of the schemes that have client approval.
- Release of detailed drawings for the execution of the contract.
- Prepare bid documents for job execution.
- Bid evaluation for selecting contractors.
- Monitor and control progress of work if required by client.
A self-employed professional would need to address all these issues for successful project execution. Top interior design schools will cover most of these areas in their coursework and help you prepare for the future.