How to Pick an Interior Designer Program near Hilo Hawaii
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design school near Hilo HI, it’s time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it’s essential that you receive the appropriate training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s crucial that you do the proper research so that you can assess and compare each program that you are considering prior to making your ultimate choice. But just where do you begin? A number of future students will start their research by searching for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are relevant variables when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation must be considered as well. We will cover those issues and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But before we do, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class options are offered.
Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration
Some people confuse interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The primary difference between the two is the level of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator in Hilo HI if they have a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, working as an interior designer requires a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make living or work areas functional as well as attractive. On some occasions they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers in Hilo HI frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any room of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public areas, Hilo HI designers often concentrate predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the main consideration.
There are numerous areas of residential and commercial interior design in Hilo HI that a designer must learn, such as color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui concepts, interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
Interior Design Degree Options
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to get the training necessary to start your new career. Your decision will no doubt be motivated by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in several states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered near Hilo HI.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum amount of training required to enter the profession. They take about two years to complete and programs are offered at many Hilo HI area vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative components of the business needed to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced training in design after attaining a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer choices in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are largely for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are normally completed in three to five years.
In order to work as a professional and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be needed before an applicant can take the licensing examination.
Online Interior Design Classes
For students who to attend classes in the comfort of their homes, there are online accredited interior design classes. Attending classes online can be an excellent solution for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For a number of students online colleges may be the sole option if no Hilo HI area interior design schools are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Additional costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the program you enroll in is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the right alternative for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Design Schools
When you have chosen the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of assessing your Hilo HI area school options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the school must be within driving distance from your home. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will narrow down your options as well. But choosing the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your house are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you should consider as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a few questions that you may want to address with the schools you are looking at to get those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and subsequently pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It’s important to make sure that the interior design program and college that you choose has been accredited by either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive assessment of their instructors and programs. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it might also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Hilo HI employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some states do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those states mandating licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required as well. So in addition to furnishing an exceptional education, the Hilo HI school you enroll in should also furnish the proper training to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Hawaii or the state where you will be working.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It may also indicate that the college has a significant network of Hilo HI area business connections where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the colleges you are evaluating and find out what type of support they offer. Many of Hilo HI area interior designer colleges provide financial aid to their new students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide support in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Hilo HI programs you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your home, go to the college and monitor a couple of classes. While there talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the Hilo HI interior designer college you enroll in provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends, confirm that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right Interior Designer Program near Hilo HawaiiPicking the right interior design college is a critical initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and gratifying occupation. Searching for a school where you will obtain your training and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult task regardless of what field you have chosen. As with any undertaking to attain a higher education, there are a number of points to think about before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, check that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the profession. However it is still essential that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare programs so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer.
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