How to Select an Interior Designer Program near Valrico Florida
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near Valrico FL, it’s time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors, it’s imperative that you receive the right training to put your skills to work. And since some states do mandate 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 vital that you do the proper research in order to evaluate and compare each college that you are considering before you make your final choice. But just where do you start? Many potential students will begin their research by searching for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are important issues when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to be considered also. We will discuss 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 offered.
Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design
Some people confuse interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The primary difference between the two is the amount of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in many 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 spaces attractive as well as functional. On various occasions they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are two broad areas that an interior designer in Valrico FL can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers often concentrate predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may focus more on functionality over looks as the main consideration.
There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, including lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui principles, Valrico FL interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final creations.
Interior Designer Training Programs
There are four degree options available in interior design to get the training necessary to start your new profession in Valrico FL. Your decision will no doubt be motivated by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, make certain to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in several states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum level of training needed to enter the field. They take about 2 years to finish and programs are available at many Florida trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that supply more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative facets of the business required to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs supply advanced training in design after achieving a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer choices in specialty majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are mostly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are generally completed in three to five years.
To work as a professional and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, many states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be required before an applicant can take the licensing exam.
Online Interior Design Classes
For anyone wishing’ to attend classes in the comfort of their Valrico FL homes, there are accredited online interior design programs. Studying online can be a good option for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For many students online colleges may be the sole option if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Added expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the school you choose is accredited by a respected 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 education. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the perfect alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Design Schools
Now that you have decided on the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the task of analyzing your college options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the campus has to be within driving distance from your Valrico FL residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But choosing the cheapest college or the one that is closest to home are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you should consider also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a list of questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and subsequently choose the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It’s essential to make sure that the interior designer college and program that you select has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just verify 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 establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are excellent, it may also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Valrico FL employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would require 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 calling for licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required as well. So besides furnishing an exceptional education, the Valrico FL program you enroll in should also provide the proper education to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Florida or the State where you will be employed.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some help in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession and its students are sought after. It may also signify that the school has a large network of Valrico FL business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Valrico FL colleges you are reviewing and ask what kind of assistance they offer. Many of interior design programs provide financial aid to their new students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide help in securing federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Valrico FL schools you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Valrico home, go to the college and monitor a few classes. While there talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior designer school you select provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Valrico FL, make sure that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.
Considering Attending Interior Design School in Valrico FL?
Before the Civil War, the area was known as "Long Pond" and consisted of several cotton plantations. It was renamed "Valrico", meaning "rich valley" in Spanish, in the 1880s when William G. Tousey, a philosophy professor from Tufts College, purchased property in the area. In 1890, an influx of immigrants arrived, following the construction of the Florida Central and Peninsular Railroad through the area.
When the railroad was completed, Tousey began building up the community with retail stores, streets, and a bank. In 1895, a major freeze halted these developments, and the population began to dwindle. Nonetheless, the town continued to press on, with a schoolhouse being completed in 1896. The population continued to fall drastically, from 100 people in 1893 to only 50 in 1911.
This setback did not deter local landowners from pushing forward with the town's development. Between 1910-1914 Judge Hamner, Governor Van Sant, D. Humbird, W.H., S.C. Phipps and W.F. Miller started an improvement project along Hopewell Road, later designated SR 60. W.F. Miller, serving as president of the Valrico Improvement Association, raised $3,500 to erect the Valrico Civic Center, now known as the James McCabe Theatre. The area's first general store was opened by Lovett Brandon in 1912.
Pick the Right Interior Design School near Valrico FL
Selecting the ideal interior designer college is an important first step toward launching your career in this artistic and gratifying profession. Finding a school where you will obtain your training and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a daunting job no matter what major you have decided on. As with any endeavor to acquire a higher education, there are several points to consider before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the business. However it is still important that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare colleges so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Valrico FL.
More Awesome Cities in Florida
Business Results 1 - 10 of 93