How to Pick an Interior Design Degree Program near Wauchula Florida
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near Wauchula FL, it’s time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it’s imperative that you obtain the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do require that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it’s essential that you carry out the proper research so that you can analyze and compare each program that you are looking at before you make your final choice. But exactly where do you start? Many prospective students will kick off their research by looking for interior design courses near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are important variables when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into consideration also. We will address those topics and other crucial questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training options are available.
Interior Decoration vs Interior Design
Often people mistake interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The principal difference between the two is the level of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. However, conducting business as an interior designer requires formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or residential spaces attractive as well as functional. On various occasions they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are two broad categories that an interior designer in Wauchula FL can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any room of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial areas, designers normally focus predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms 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 numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, such as lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers 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 integrating Feng shui concepts, Wauchula FL interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
Interior Design Training Programs
There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to acquire the training necessary to launch your new profession in Wauchula FL. Your decision will undoubtedly be driven by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in some states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum amount of education needed to enter the field. They take roughly two years to finish and programs are available at numerous Florida community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can normally obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that supply more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical facets of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum 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 provide advanced training in design after acquiring the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide choices 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 their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are mostly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are generally completed in three to five years.
To work professionally 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 field experience may be required before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.
Online Interior Designer Colleges
For individuals who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their Wauchula FL homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Studying online can be a good option for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For a number of students online programs may be the sole alternative if no interior design schools are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Additional costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the program you pick is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the dedication to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Programs
When you have decided on the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of assessing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the college needs to be within driving distance from your Wauchula FL residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will narrow down your options also. But picking the most affordable school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you should look at also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the colleges you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others to help you assess and ultimately pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It’s imperative to make sure that the interior design college and program that you select has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding evaluation 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 organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Wauchula FL employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the Program 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 in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States requiring licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required also. Therefore besides furnishing an excellent education, the Wauchula FL school you enroll in should also provide the proper training to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Florida or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its graduates are in demand. It could also signify that the college has a significant network of Wauchula FL business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Wauchula FL schools you are reviewing and ask what type of assistance they provide. A number of interior designer colleges provide financial assistance to their new students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in obtaining grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Wauchula FL colleges you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Wauchula home, visit the school and sit in on a couple of 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 experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior design college you choose provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Wauchula FL, verify that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Considering Attending Interior Design School in Wauchula FL?
Wauchula is located in north-central Hardee County. U.S. Route 17 passes through the city, leading north 25 miles (40 km) to Bartow and south 24 miles (39 km) to Arcadia. Within the county, Zolfo Springs is 4 miles (6 km) to the south on US 17 and Bowling Green is 6 miles (10 km) to the north.
Hurricane Charley hit Wauchula at ca 5:30 on Friday, August 13, 2004, causing more than $750 million in damage. Sustained winds of 140 mph, with gusts of over 160 mph, were clocked in downtown Wauchula. The entire area had either no running water, or contaminated water for one week. Power was lost to many sections for nearly three weeks, with school canceled for two weeks. The area was declared a federal disaster area after 85% of its buildings were either damaged or destroyed. There was a curfew set for the area for weeks after from 8 pm to 7 am.
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Wauchula has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.
Choose the Ideal Interior Design School near Wauchula FL
Selecting the right interior designer college is an important initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and rewarding profession. Searching for a college where you will obtain your education and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a daunting task no matter what major you have selected. As with any undertaking to acquire an advanced education, there are several factors to consider before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the business. But it is still imperative 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 effectively evaluate and compare programs so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Wauchula FL.
More Awesome Cities in Florida
Business Results 1 - 10 of 13