How to Choose the Right Interior Design Course Washington 20001
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design college near Washington DC, it’s time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors, it’s imperative that you obtain the proper training to put your talents to work. And since some states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it’s essential that you carry out the proper research so that you can assess and compare each school that you are considering before you make your ultimate choice. But where do you start? Many prospective students will kick off 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 are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation need to be considered also. We will address those topics and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But before we do, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class options are available.
Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design
Many people mistake interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The key difference between the two is the amount of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, working 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 areas functional as well as attractive. On various projects they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Washington DC may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers often 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, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public areas, designers frequently concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality 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 might concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the primary concern.
There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. They must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui principles, Washington DC interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final designs.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to acquire the training needed to launch your new profession in Washington DC. Your selection will undoubtedly be influenced by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, make certain to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in several states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum amount of education required to enter the profession. They take approximately two years to complete and programs are available at many District of Columbia trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that provide more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative facets of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced training in design after attaining a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide 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. Doctoral programs are mostly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are typically completed in three to five years.
In order to work professionally and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be called for before an applicant can take the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Schools
For students who to attend classes in the convenience of their Washington DC homes, there are accredited online interior design programs. Attending classes online can be a good option for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For some students online programs may be the only alternative if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the program you choose is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the dedication to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the ideal alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Designer Programs
After you have selected the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of analyzing your college options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the college must be within driving distance from your Washington DC residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will decrease your choices as well. But picking the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to home are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other things that you should look at as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a few questions that you may want to ask the schools you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others to help you compare and subsequently pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It’s important to verify that the interior designer program and college that you enroll in has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous assessment of their instructors and programs. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are excellent, it may also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Washington DC employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do mandate that interior designers become 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 several of those States requiring licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore in addition to furnishing an exceptional education, the Washington DC school you choose should also provide the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for District of Columbia or the State where you will be employed.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It could also indicate that the college has a substantial network of Washington DC business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Contact the financial aid offices for the Washington DC colleges you are evaluating and find out what type of aid they provide. Many of interior design colleges provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Various schools provide partial scholarships while others provide help in acquiring grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Washington DC programs you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Washington home, go to the school and attend a few classes. While there talk with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior design program you choose provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Washington DC, verify that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Enrolling in an Interior Design School near Washington DC?
Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the Washington District of Columbia area. If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington or D.C., is the capital of the United States. Founded after the American Revolution as the seat of government of the newly independent country, Washington was named after George Washington, first President of the United States and Founding Father. Washington is the principal city of the Washington metropolitan area, which has a population of 6,131,977. As the seat of the United States federal government and several international organizations, the city is an important world political capital. Washington is one of the most visited cities in the world, with more than 20 million annual tourists.
The signing of the Residence Act on July 16, 1790, approved the creation of a capital district located along the Potomac River on the country's East Coast. The U.S. Constitution provided for a federal district under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Congress and the District is therefore not a part of any state. The states of Maryland and Virginia each donated land to form the federal district, which included the pre-existing settlements of Georgetown and Alexandria. Named in honor of President George Washington, the City of Washington was founded in 1791 to serve as the new national capital. In 1846, Congress returned the land originally ceded by Virginia; in 1871, it created a single municipal government for the remaining portion of the District.
Washington had an estimated population of 693,972 as of July 2017[update], making it the 20th largest American city by population. Commuters from the surrounding Maryland and Virginia suburbs raise the city's daytime population to more than one million during the workweek. The Washington metropolitan area, of which the District is the principal city, has a population of over 6 million, the sixth-largest metropolitan statistical area in the country.
Select the Best Interior Design School near Washington DC
Selecting the right interior design college is an important first step toward launching your career in this artistic and fulfilling occupation. Locating a college where you will receive your education and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a daunting task no matter what major you have decided on. As with any undertaking to attain a higher education, there are many factors to think about before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. You originally came upon this website because you had an initial interest in Interior Design Certificate Online. But it is still important that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design schools so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Washington DC.
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