How to Select an Interior Design Program near Washington Georgia
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer college near Washington GA, it’s time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it’s essential that you get the appropriate training to put your talents to work. And since some states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s very important that you carry out the proper research so that you can analyze and compare each school that you are reviewing prior to making your final decision. But exactly where do you start? Some potential students will launch their research by searching for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are relevant factors when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into consideration also. We will address 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 talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class options are available.
Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design
Some people mistake interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The main difference between the two is the amount of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, working as an interior designer requires formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or living areas functional as well as attractive. On some occasions they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Washington GA may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers often concentrate predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be focused on 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 must learn, such as color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Washington GA interior designers employ a wide range of skills that help bring about their final designs.
Interior Design Degrees
There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to receive the training necessary to begin your new career in Washington GA. Your selection will no doubt be motivated by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, make sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in several states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum amount of education required to enter the profession. They take approximately 2 years to complete and programs are offered at numerous Georgia vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that supply more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical components of the business required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree 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 acquiring a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer options in specialty majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mainly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work as a professional and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, many states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be called for before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Degree Programs
For individuals who wish to study in the comfort of their Washington GA homes, there are accredited online interior design degrees. Attending classes online can be a great solution for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For a number of students online schools may be the sole alternative if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the school you select is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the dedication to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Schools
Now that you have chosen the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the task of reviewing your college options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the college must be within driving distance from your Washington GA residence. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will limit your choices also. But choosing the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other things that you need to look at as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and ultimately pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It’s necessary to verify that the interior designer program and college that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just verify 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 establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are exceptional, it may also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Washington GA employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do require that interior designers get 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 college. And in several of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required also. So in addition to furnishing an excellent education, the Washington GA program you choose should also furnish the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Georgia or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some support in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its students are sought after. It may also indicate that the college has a substantial network of Washington GA business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial aid offices for the Washington GA schools you are evaluating and find out what type of assistance they provide. Many of interior designer programs provide financial aid to their incoming students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide support in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Washington GA schools you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Washington home, visit the campus and sit in on a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few 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 Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior designer school you choose offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Washington GA, confirm that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Considering Attending Interior Design School in Washington GA?
Washington (formerly known as Heard's Fort) is a city in Wilkes County, Georgia, United States. The population was 4,295 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Wilkes County. The city is often referred to as Washington-Wilkes by local residents, to distinguish it from other places named "Washington" in the U.S.
Several historic sites in Washington are on the National Register of Historic Places, including the Wilkes County Courthouse, the Robert Toombs House State Historic Site, the Washington-Wilkes Historical Museum, the Mary Willis Public Library, and the recently restored historic Fitzpatrick Hotel, built in 1898.
The Battle of Kettle Creek, one of the most important battles of the American Revolutionary War to be fought in Georgia, was fought on February 14, 1779, in Wilkes County, about eight miles (13 km) from present day Washington. The battle resulted in a victory for the American Patriots who took 75 prisoners, and killed roughly 70 Loyalists, while losing 32 men.
Pick the Best Interior Design School near Washington GA
Choosing the right interior design program is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and rewarding occupation. Finding a school where you will receive your education and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a challenging job no matter what major you have selected. As with any undertaking to acquire a higher education, there are many factors to think about before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, check that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the profession. But it is still essential that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare colleges so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with quality training and your determination to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Washington GA.
More Awesome Cities in Georgia