How to Select an Interior Designer Course near Phillips Maine
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer college near Phillips ME, it’s time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential interiors, it’s imperative that you obtain the right training to put your skills to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it’s very important that you do the proper research in order to assess and compare each college that you are looking at before you make your final choice. But just where do you start? A number of future students will kick off their research by searching for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are important issues when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into consideration also. We will cover those topics and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class alternatives are offered.
Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Often people mistake interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The key distinction between them is the level of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator in Phillips ME if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or living areas functional as well as attractive. On many projects they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers in Phillips ME frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any room of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, Phillips ME designers frequently concentrate primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.
There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design in Phillips ME that a designer must learn, for example lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui principles, interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are four degree options offered in interior design to obtain the training required to launch your new profession. Your choice will undoubtedly be motivated by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make certain to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in a number of states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available near Phillips ME.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum level of training needed to enter the field. They take roughly two years to complete and programs are offered at many Phillips ME area vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical facets of the trade 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 two year programs provide advanced training in design after attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer alternatives in specialized majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mostly 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.
In order to work as a professional and use the title of “Interior Designer”, many states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be needed before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Colleges
For those who wish to study in the comfort of their homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Attending classes online can be an excellent alternative for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For many students online schools may be the only option if no Phillips ME area interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Additional costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the program you pick is accredited by a respected accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the dedication to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the right alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Designer Programs
Once you have decided on the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of evaluating your Phillips ME area school options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the college needs to 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 fee for tuition will decrease your choices as well. But choosing the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you should consider also, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Following are a list of questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are looking at to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you compare and ultimately pick the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It’s imperative to make sure that the interior design program and school that you select has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment of their teachers and programs. 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 verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are outstanding, it might also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Phillips ME employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of states do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those states calling for licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to providing an outstanding education, the Phillips ME school you enroll in should also provide the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Maine or the state where you will be working.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will probably need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It might also indicate that the college has a sizable network of Phillips ME area business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the colleges you are looking at and ask what kind of support they provide. Many of Phillips ME area interior designer programs provide financial aid to their incoming students. Various schools provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in acquiring grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Phillips ME schools you are considering what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your home, visit the college and monitor a few classes. While there speak with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the Phillips ME interior designer college you enroll in offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends, verify that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Interior Design Program near Phillips MainePicking the right interior designer program is a crucial first step toward starting your career in this artistic and gratifying profession. Finding a college where you will receive your training and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a daunting task no matter what major you have selected. As with any endeavor to attain a higher education, there are several points to think about before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, make sure that the design college and program are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. However it is still important that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare schools so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer.
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