How to become an interior designer after engineering?
If you have an engineering degree, but want to become a professional interior designer, what are your options? The first thing that you need to do is make sure that the career path is for you. It can be hard work and stressful at times, but it’s also rewarding in many ways. There are three different paths for becoming an interior designer after engineering: freelance or contract work, continuing education courses, or going back to school full-time.
Find an interior design program at a school that you can afford
Since you have an engineering degree, it will be very difficult to get into a traditional interior design program. Look for schools that offer one year online programs because these programs are not as time-consuming and expensive. A good example is Home Design Institute where you can also enroll in a free Interior Design Fundamentals course. They offer high quality online lectures in real-time; at the end of each designer course, you can sign up for an exam-test and then acquire a professional Certificate from the Institute. For once you find the school of your choice, apply like any other college student would. You may need to take some prerequisite courses before applying but there is no limit on how many times you can try! Make sure though that if you do retake classes, they are at least two years apart which means from now until then make sure all credits count towards something else so they don’t go to waste. Apply early in order to give yourself enough time for processing paperwork since this process takes longer than most people think it does.
Take classes in all of the major areas of interior design – art, architecture, and history
The best way to become an interior designer is taking classes in all of the major areas of design – these are your basics. Whether you started as a mechanical engineer or already have a degree in one of those three fields doesn’t matter; take some time out for yourself and get educated on what’s happening around you. Take advantage of the opportunity to explore other disciplines while still pursuing your engineering career by doing this part-time or during weekends. You’ll be surprised how much more creative work will come from having different perspectives.
Get internships with established designers
If you’re looking to make a career transition into the design space, then getting an internship with established designers is probably your best bet. This could be as practical experience in school or on your own time during summer breaks and holidays. Most of these internships aren’t paid, but they will still help give you valuable knowledge about what goes into designing commercial spaces for both residential and retail clients.
Work on your portfolio by creating sketches and drawings for designs
The portfolio is by far one of the most important tools that you will have in your career as an interior designer, so it’s best if you work on it from a very early age and keep adding to it over time. It may seem like playing around with sketches or drawings at first is not going to help you out much once you’re older, but creating a plan now for what kind of designs (for rooms or buildings) would interest you can save yourself some trouble later down the line when clients are looking for someone to do their design project.
Study abroad or take a study-abroad course to gain international experience
If you want to become an interior designer after engineering, study abroad or take a study-abroad course to gain international experience and a global perspective. Studying in another country will help give your resume more variety and provide hands-on understanding of different cultures, which is necessary for the design process.
There are many ways to become an interior designer. A person can decide on a path based on what they know, or even just explore and see where their interests lead them. Regardless of the route taken, it is important that people do not let fears stop them from becoming who they want to be in life and do not stop experimenting every day. Instead, encourage yourself by finding mentors and asking questions when obstacles pop up along the way. A good education will always help but with hard work anything is possible!
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