How to Find an Interior Design School near Greenville Maine
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near Greenville ME, it’s time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential spaces, it’s imperative that you get the right training to put your skills to work. And since several states do require 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 vital that you perform the proper research in order to evaluate and compare each college that you are looking at before you make your final decision. But just where do you begin? Many potential students will launch their research by searching for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are key issues when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation need to be considered as well. We will discuss those issues and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are available.
Interior Decoration vs Interior Design
Some people mistake interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The key distinction between the two is the amount of training required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator in Greenville ME if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make living or work areas functional as well as attractive. On some projects they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are two general areas that an interior designer may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers in Greenville ME often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any room of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial areas, Greenville ME designers frequently focus predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.
There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design in Greenville ME that a designer must learn, for example color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui concepts, interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that help bring about their final creations.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to get the training needed to start your new profession. Your selection will no doubt be driven by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in several states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered near Greenville ME.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum level of training required to enter the profession. They take approximately two years to complete and programs are available at a number of Greenville ME area community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can typically obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that deliver more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical components of the business required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced design training after acquiring a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer options in specialized majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mainly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are usually completed in three to five years.
To work as a professional and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be required before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Colleges
For anyone wishing’ to study in the convenience of their homes, there are online accredited interior design classes. Studying online can be a good alternative 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 a number of students online programs may be the only option if no Greenville ME area interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Additional expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated also. Just be sure that the college you choose is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the right alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
After you have chosen the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of analyzing your Greenville ME area college options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the school must be within commuting distance from your residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will decrease your options as well. But choosing the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other things that you should look at also, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a few questions that you may want to address with the schools you are considering to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and subsequently pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It’s imperative to confirm that the interior designer program and college that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding evaluation of their programs and teachers. Just make sure 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 establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Greenville ME employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the School 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 school. And in several of those states mandating licensing, at least 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. So in addition to furnishing an outstanding education, the Greenville ME school you select should also provide the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for Maine or the state where you will be working.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some help in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It might also signify that the college has a large network of Greenville ME area business connections where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial assistance offices for the schools you are reviewing and ask what type of aid they provide. A number of Greenville ME area interior designer colleges provide financial aid to their new students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide support in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Small 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. Find out from the Greenville ME colleges you are considering what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your home, go to the school and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the Greenville ME interior designer school you choose provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Best Interior Designer Certification Training near Greenville MainePicking the right interior design college is a crucial first step toward launching your career in this creative and rewarding occupation. Locating a school where you will obtain your education and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult task no matter what major you have chosen. As with any undertaking to acquire an advanced education, there are several points to think about before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. However it is still essential that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare programs so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer.
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