How to Find an Interior Designer School near Landing New Jersey
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design college near Landing NJ, it’s time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors, it’s important that you get the appropriate training to put your skills to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it’s very important that you perform the proper research so that you can evaluate and compare each college that you are considering before you make your final choice. But just where do you begin? A number of prospective students will launch their research by looking for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are key issues when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into account also. We will discuss those issues and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are reviewing 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 and Interior Design
Often people mistake interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The main distinction between the two is the amount of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator in Landing NJ if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer requires formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make living or work areas functional as well as attractive. On some occasions they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers in Landing NJ 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 may specialize in designing one particular room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When working on public or commercial spaces, Landing NJ designers often concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.
There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design in Landing NJ that a designer needs to learn, for example color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui principles, interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to receive the training needed to launch your new career. Your choice will undoubtedly be influenced by your career objectives in addition to the money and time that you have to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in a number of states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available near Landing NJ.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum amount of training required to enter the profession. They take about two years to finish and programs are available at a number of Landing NJ area trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can usually obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that supply more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative components of the business required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced design training after achieving a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer choices in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mostly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work professionally and use the title of “Interior Designer”, many states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be required before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.
Online Interior Design Schools
For individuals who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their homes, there are accredited online interior design programs. Attending classes online can be an excellent option for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For some students online colleges may be the only option if no Landing NJ area interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an additional 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 also. Just be sure that the college you pick is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the dedication to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the right alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Design Schools
Once you have decided on the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of assessing your Landing NJ area school options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the school needs to be within commuting distance from your residence. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will limit your options as well. But selecting the cheapest school or the one that is closest to your house are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you should look at as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Following are a few questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are looking at to obtain those answers as well as others to help you assess and subsequently select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It’s necessary to verify that the interior design school and program that you enroll in has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding assessment of their programs and instructors. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are excellent, it may also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Landing NJ employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some states do require 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 program. And in several of those states calling for licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required also. So in addition to furnishing an outstanding education, the Landing NJ college you choose should also provide the proper training to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for New Jersey or the state where you will be working.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will probably need some help in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It may also indicate that the college has a significant network of Landing NJ area business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the schools you are evaluating and find out what kind of aid they provide. Many of Landing NJ area interior designer schools offer financial aid to their incoming students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide help 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. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Landing NJ schools you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your home, visit the campus and sit in on a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the Landing NJ interior design college you enroll in offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends, verify that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Pick the Ideal Interior Design Degree Program near Landing New JerseyChoosing the ideal interior designer college is a crucial first step toward launching your career in this artistic and rewarding profession. Finding a college where you will receive your training and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a daunting task no matter what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to recieve an advanced education, there are several things to consider before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, verify that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the business. But it is still imperative that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare colleges so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer.
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