How to Select the Right Interior Designer Degree Program Thomaston 04861
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near Thomaston ME, it’s time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it’s essential that you get the appropriate training to put your natural abilities 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 exam also. So it’s crucial that you perform the proper research so that you can analyze and compare each program that you are looking at prior to making your final decision. But exactly where do you start? Some future students will start their research by searching for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are key variables when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into consideration as well. We will discuss those topics and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But first, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class options are offered.
Interior Decoration vs Interior Design
Often people confuse interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The primary distinction between them is the amount of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, doing business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or living spaces functional as well as attractive. On various occasions they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are two broad areas that an interior designer in Thomaston ME may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with public or commercial areas, designers frequently focus predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.
There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui principles, Thomaston ME interior designers employ a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
Interior Designer Degree Options
There are four degree options offered in interior design to obtain the training needed to begin your new career in Thomaston ME. Your selection will undoubtedly be driven by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in a number of states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum level of education required to enter the profession. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are offered at many Maine trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can usually obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that supply more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical components of the trade required 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 provide advanced design training after achieving the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide alternatives in specialized majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are mainly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work as a professional and use the title of “Interior Designer”, many states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be called for before an applicant can take the licensing examination.
Interior Designer Online Schools
For anyone wishing’ to attend classes in the comfort of their Thomaston ME homes, there are online accredited interior design degrees. Studying online can be a good solution for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed 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 interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Additional costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the college you select is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, 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 online or distance learning. If you have the discipline to obtain your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the ideal alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Designer Schools
Now that you have chosen the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of analyzing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the campus needs to be within driving distance from your Thomaston ME residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will limit your choices also. But selecting the most affordable school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you should consider also, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a list of questions that you may want to ask the programs you are looking at to obtain those answers as well as others to help you examine and ultimately choose the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It’s important to make sure that the interior design college and program that you select 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). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just make sure that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it may also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Thomaston ME employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do require that interior designers become 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 some of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required also. So in addition to furnishing an excellent education, the Thomaston ME program you select should also furnish the proper education to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Maine or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some support in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design field and its students are sought after. It might also signify that the college has a substantial network of Thomaston ME business connections where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Thomaston ME schools you are reviewing and find out what type of assistance they provide. Many of interior design programs offer financial assistance to their new students. Various schools offer partial scholarships while others provide assistance in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Thomaston ME schools you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Thomaston home, go to the school and attend a couple of classes. While there speak with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior designer program you select offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Thomaston ME, confirm that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in an Interior Design School near Thomaston ME?
Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the Thomaston Maine area. If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.
Thomaston (formerly known as Fort St. Georges, Fort Wharf, Lincoln) is a town in Knox County, Maine, United States. The population was 2,781 at the 2010 census. Noted for its antique architecture, Thomaston is an old port popular with tourists.
As early as 1630, a trading post was established on the eastern bank of the St. George River, then considered the boundary between New England and New France. In 1704, Thomas LeFebvre from Quebec bought a large tract of land along the Weskeag River on which he built a gristmill, with a house on the shoreline at what is now South Thomaston. The area became known as Thomas' Town. In 1719–1720, the old trading post was remodeled into Fort St. George, a stockaded fort protected by two blockhouses. But Abenaki Indian tribes protested the encroachment of an English fort on their territory. Instigated by the French, they attacked the garrison twice during Dummer's War in 1722, then again in 1723 with a siege lasting 30 days. In response to this and other provocations, soldiers destroyed the Abenaki stronghold of Norridgewock in 1724.
During the French and Indian War, to avenge for the fall of Louisbourg, on August 13, 1758 French officer Boishebert left Miramichi, New Brunswick with 400 soldiers for Fort St George (Thomaston, Maine). His detachment reached there on September 9 but was caught in an ambush and had to withdraw. This was Boishébert's last Acadian expedition. They then went on to raid Friendship, Maine, where people were killed and others taken prisoner. Hostilities of the French and Indian Wars ceased with the 1759 Fall of Quebec.
Find the Ideal Interior Design School near Thomaston ME
Selecting the right interior designer program is a crucial first step toward launching your career in this artistic and rewarding profession. Locating a college where you will obtain your training and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a challenging job regardless of what major you have decided on. As with any undertaking to acquire a higher education, there are many factors to consider before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. You originally came upon this website because you had an initial interest in Interior Design Diploma Online. But it is still essential that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Thomaston ME.
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