Taking a space and creating a place of beauty is a unique gift that interior designers share with their clients. But beyond having a gift, interior design professionals also have a solid combination of interior design degrees and years of hands-on experience. If you've ever wondered how your favorite home design experts on television transform homes from drab to fab, it all starts with interior design degrees from top-notch interior design schools.
Interior Design School 101
Before you're able to choose palettes, incorporate themes into rooms, or make small spaces functional, you'll have to learn the basic principles of interior design. Interior design schools usually offer a curriculum that includes courses in computer-aided design (CAD), drawing, architecture, ergonomics, spatial planning, color and fabrics, furniture design and more. What's more, since you'll be working with clients who have very specific needs and tastes, communication skills development is also essential for success—and interior design schools will make sure you have them.
Getting to Work
Before you can dig in and start imparting your great interior design ideas to others professionally, you'll most likely need to become licensed by taking the National Council for Interior Design Qualification exam (required in 22 states). Before you can even sit for the exam, however, you'll need to complete at least two years of an interior design program of study, and a couple of years worth of apprenticeship experience; combined study at an approved interior design school and work time must equal six years.
Competitive but Fruitful Field
The number of interior designers employed in the United States keeps increasing each year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the median earnings in 2004 was $40,670. To set yourself apart as a savvy and sought-after interior designer, choose from among top interior design schools, network in the field, and complete a one- to three-year apprenticeship. Before you know it, you may be the next big interior design star.