How to Pick an Interior Designer Course near Wood Dale Illinois
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Wood Dale IL, it’s time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential interiors, it’s important that you receive the appropriate training to put your skills to work. And since some states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s very important that you carry out the proper research so that you can assess and compare each school that you are looking at before you make your ultimate decision. But exactly where do you start? Many future students will begin their research by looking for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are relevant issues when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into account as well. We will discuss those issues and other vital 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 training choices are available.
Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design
Some people confuse interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The principal distinction between the two is the level of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, doing business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or residential spaces functional as well as attractive. On many projects they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Wood Dale IL may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any room of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers normally focus 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 emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may focus more on functionality over appearance as the main consideration.
There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui principles, Wood Dale IL interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
Interior Designer Degree Options
There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to receive the training required to launch your new career in Wood Dale IL. Your choice will undoubtedly be motivated by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, be sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in some states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum amount of education needed to enter the field. They take about 2 years to complete and programs are offered at a number of Illinois community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that deliver more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative components of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced training in design after acquiring the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer alternatives in specialty majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are largely for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order 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 needed before a candidate can take the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Classes
For students who to attend classes in the comfort of their Wood Dale IL homes, there are online accredited interior design schools. Attending classes 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 home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For some students online schools may be the only alternative if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Additional expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make certain 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 programs 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 college may be the right alternative for you.
What to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
After you have decided on the interior designer 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 Wood Dale IL home. Obviously if you have decided on attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But picking the most affordable school or the one that is closest to your house are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other things that you should look at also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are looking at to get 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 school and program that you select has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just verify that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are outstanding, it may also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Wood Dale IL employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do mandate 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 school. And in some of those States calling for licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required as well. So aside from providing an excellent education, the Wood Dale IL college you enroll in should also furnish the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Illinois or the State where you will be working.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will probably want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It could also signify that the school has a substantial network of Wood Dale IL business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial aid departments for the Wood Dale IL colleges you are looking at and ask what type of assistance they provide. A number of interior designer programs offer financial assistance to their new students. Various colleges provide 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. Often a college that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Wood Dale IL schools you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Wood Dale home, go to the campus and attend a few classes. While there speak with some 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? Finally, confirm that the interior design program you choose provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Wood Dale IL, confirm that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Considering Attending Interior Design School in Wood Dale IL?
Wood Dale, Illinois
According to the 2010 census, Wood Dale has a total area of 4.834 square miles (12.52 km2), of which 4.72 square miles (12.22 km2) (or 97.64%) is land and 0.114 square miles (0.30 km2) (or 2.36%) is water. Wood Dale shares borders with Elk Grove Village (on the north), Bensenville (east), Addison (south, southwest) and Itasca (west.)
As of the census of 2000, there were 13,535 people, 5,117 households, and 3,663 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,897.8 people per square mile (1,119.0/km²). There were 5,220 housing units at an average density of 1,117.6 per square mile (431.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 89.22 percent White, 0.58 percent African American, 0.15 percent Native American, 3.24 percent Asian, 0.07 percent Pacific Islander, 4.80 percent from other races, and 1.94 percent from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 13.06 percent of the population.
There were 5,117 households out of which 29.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.9% were married couples living together, 8.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.4% were non-families. 23.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.64 and the average family size was 3.15.
Enroll in the Ideal Interior Design School near Wood Dale IL
Picking the ideal interior design school is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this creative and gratifying profession. Finding a school where you will receive your education and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a challenging job no matter what field you have selected. As with any endeavor to recieve a higher education, there are a number of things to think about before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the field. But it is still important that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare programs so that you can make the right final selection. And with quality training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Wood Dale IL.
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