How to Select the Right Interior Design School Wirtz 24184
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design school near Wirtz VA, 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 receive the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s vital that you perform the appropriate research so that you can analyze and compare each college that you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection. But where do you begin? Some future students will start their research by looking for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are relevant factors when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation need to be considered also. We will cover those issues and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But first, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class choices are offered.
Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Some people mistake interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The main difference between the two is the amount of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, conducting 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 taught to make living or work spaces functional as well as attractive. On some projects they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Wirtz VA can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers frequently concentrate predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might concentrate more on functionality over looks as the main consideration.
There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui principles, Wirtz VA interior designers employ a wide range of skills that help bring about their final creations.
Interior Designer Training Programs
There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to obtain the training necessary to start your new career in Wirtz VA. Your choice will undoubtedly be influenced by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have 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 mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in some states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum amount of training needed to enter the profession. They take about two years to complete and programs are available at many Virginia community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that provide more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative components of the trade required 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 2 year programs provide advanced training in design after attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide alternatives in specialized majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are primarily for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work as a professional and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be called for before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.
Online Interior Designer Classes
For those who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Wirtz VA homes, there are online accredited interior design classes. Attending classes online can be a good alternative for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For many students online colleges may be the sole option if no interior design schools are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Additional costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the program you pick is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the perfect alternative for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
Once you have decided on the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the task of assessing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the school has to be within driving distance from your Wirtz VA home. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will limit your options also. But choosing the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to home are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you need to consider also, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a list of questions that you may want to ask the programs you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others to help you examine and subsequently pick the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It’s important to make sure that the interior designer program and college that you choose has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive assessment of their teachers and programs. Just verify 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 confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are excellent, it may also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Wirtz VA employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do mandate that interior designers get 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 school. And in several of those States calling for licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore besides providing an outstanding education, the Wirtz VA college you enroll in should also furnish the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Virginia or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will probably want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask 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 students are in demand. It might also indicate that the college has a sizable network of Wirtz VA business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial aid offices for the Wirtz VA colleges you are reviewing and find out what type of assistance they offer. Many of interior design programs offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide support in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Wirtz VA colleges you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Wirtz home, go to the school and monitor a few classes. While there talk with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior design college you choose provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Wirtz VA, confirm that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Enrolling in an Interior Design School near Wirtz VA?
Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the Wirtz Virginia area. If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.
Susan Loy (born 1951) is an American artist, calligrapher, and author best known for her "Literary Calligraphy" watercolor paintings of the Language of Flowers and the White House Easter Egg Roll. These paintings combine hand-lettered classic quotations from William Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson, Biblical sources, etc. with finely-rendered illustration done with steel pens and brushes.
Loy was a 1969 graduate of Midpark High School in Middleburg Heights, Ohio. She graduated in American Studies from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Loy’s graduate studies included art history, literature, and geography at Ohio State University.
Loy took a calligraphy course in Columbus in 1978 and was captivated; she later explained that the pen was like a magic wand when she picked it up. She felt that her research background in cognitive geography and art history brought her into the art world “through the back door,” rather than gaining entrance through studio classes as is typical for most artists.
Enroll in the Ideal Interior Design School near Wirtz VA
Choosing the right interior design program is a crucial initial step toward launching your career in this creative and fulfilling profession. Locating a college where you will receive your education and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting task regardless of what major you have selected. As with any endeavor to acquire a higher education, there are many things to think about before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. You originally came upon this website because you had an initial interest in Interior Design Diploma Online. But it is still important that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design programs so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with quality training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Wirtz VA.
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