How to Choose an Interior Designer Program near Greenfield Indiana
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near Greenfield IN, it’s time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors, it’s important that you receive the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s essential that you do the proper research so that you can analyze and compare each program that you are reviewing before you make your ultimate decision. But where do you begin? Many potential students will launch their research by looking for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are important variables when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation need to be taken into consideration also. We will discuss those topics and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But before we do, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training options are offered.
Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration
Some people confuse interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The main difference between them is the level of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator in Greenfield IN if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. However, doing business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or living spaces attractive as well as functional. On some projects they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers in Greenfield IN frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any room of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public areas, Greenfield IN designers frequently focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the primary concern.
There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design in Greenfield IN that a designer needs to learn, including lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. They must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui principles, interior designers employ a wide range of skills that help bring about their final creations.
Interior Designer Degree Options
There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to acquire the training required to begin your new profession. Your decision will no doubt be motivated by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in several states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available near Greenfield IN.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum level of education required to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to finish and programs are available at numerous Greenfield IN area trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that deliver more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative facets of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced design training after acquiring the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide alternatives in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are largely for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work as a professional and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Degree Programs
For those who wish to study in the convenience of their homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Attending classes online can be a good option for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For some students online colleges may be the only alternative if no Greenfield IN area interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Added expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated also. Just be sure that the school you choose is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the discipline to obtain your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the right alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Designer Schools
When you have chosen the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of evaluating your Greenfield IN area college options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the campus has to be within driving distance from your residence. Naturally if you have decided on attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will decrease your options also. But picking the least expensive college or the one that is closest to home are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you need to look at as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a list of questions that you may want to address with the schools you are reviewing to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and ultimately select the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It’s necessary 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 highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just verify that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Greenfield IN employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several states do require that interior designers become 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 requiring licensing, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore besides furnishing an exceptional education, the Greenfield IN school you enroll in should also provide the proper education to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Indiana or the state where you will be working.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some support in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It might also signify that the college has a significant network of Greenfield IN area business connections where they can place students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the colleges you are looking at and ask what type of aid they offer. Many of Greenfield IN area interior design programs offer financial assistance to their new students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships and others provide support in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Greenfield IN colleges you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your home, go to the college and attend a few classes. While there speak with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make certain that the Greenfield IN interior designer college you select provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends, confirm that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Interior Design Program near Greenfield IndianaSelecting the ideal interior design school is a critical first step toward starting your career in this creative and gratifying occupation. Locating a college where you will receive your training and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a challenging task no matter what field you have chosen. As with any endeavor to recieve a higher education, there are many factors to consider before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the field. But it is still essential that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare colleges so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer.
Some Additional Cities of Interest in Indiana