How to Pick an Interior Design College near Aubrey Texas
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer college near Aubrey TX, it’s time to begin the process of selecting 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, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it’s crucial that you do the proper research so that you can assess and compare each school that you are looking at before you make your final choice. But where do you begin? Some future students will kick off their research by looking for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are important issues when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to be considered also. We will discuss those topics and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But before we do, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training choices are available.
Interior Decoration vs Interior Design
Some people confuse interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The key distinction between them is the level of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator in Aubrey TX if they possess a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. However, conducting 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 educated to make living or work spaces functional as well as attractive. On some projects they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are two general categories that an interior designer can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers in Aubrey TX frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any room of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public areas, Aubrey TX designers frequently focus 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 banks and hospitals may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.
There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design in Aubrey TX that a designer must learn, for example color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui principles, interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
Interior Designer Degree Options
There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to get the training required to begin your new career. Your choice will no doubt be influenced by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make certain to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in some states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered near Aubrey TX.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum level of training required to enter the profession. They take about 2 years to finish and programs are available at many Aubrey TX area community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that supply more comprehensive 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 college graduate in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs supply advanced design training after achieving a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide options in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are mainly for those professionals who desire 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 use 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 called for before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Classes
For individuals who wish to study in the comfort of their homes, there are online accredited interior design programs. Studying online can be a great option for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. 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 only alternative if no Aubrey TX 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 study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make sure that the college you select is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the perfect alternative for you.
What to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
Now that you have selected the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of evaluating your Aubrey TX area school options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the campus must be within commuting distance from your residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will decrease your options as well. But picking the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you should consider as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below 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 in order to help you compare and ultimately pick the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It’s essential to verify that the interior designer college and program that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive assessment of their programs and instructors. 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 school and the quality of the education are excellent, it may also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Aubrey TX employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of states do require that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those states requiring licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. So besides providing an outstanding education, the Aubrey TX college you select should also furnish the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Texas or the state where you will be employed.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will probably want some help in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It could also signify that the school has a sizable network of Aubrey TX area business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Available? Contact the financial aid offices for the colleges you are looking at and find out what kind of support they provide. A number of Aubrey TX area interior design programs offer financial aid to their new students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide support in acquiring grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Aubrey TX schools you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your home, visit the school and sit in on a few classes. While there talk with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the Aubrey TX interior designer college you select offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends, verify that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Select the Right Interior Design College near Aubrey TexasPicking the right interior design program is a critical first step toward launching your career in this creative and rewarding occupation. Locating a college where you will obtain your training and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a challenging job no matter what field you have selected. As with any endeavor to recieve an advanced education, there are a number of factors to consider before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, make sure that the design college and program are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. But it is still essential that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare colleges so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer.
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