How to Find an Interior Design Course near Yarmouth Maine
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer college near Yarmouth ME, it’s time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors, it’s important that you receive the right training to put your talents to work. And since several states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it’s very important that you carry out the proper research in order to analyze and compare each program that you are reviewing prior to making your final selection. But where do you begin? Some prospective students will launch their research by searching for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are important factors when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation must be taken into account also. We will address those topics and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But before we do, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class choices are available.
Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration
Some people mistake interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The principal difference between the two is the level of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make living or work spaces functional as well as attractive. On many occasions they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are two broad categories that an interior designer in Yarmouth ME can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any room of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers frequently focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may focus more on functionality over looks as the main concern.
There are numerous areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, including lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They 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 incorporating Feng shui concepts, Yarmouth ME interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that help bring about their final creations.
Interior Designer Training Programs
There are four degree options offered in interior design to receive the training required to start your new career in Yarmouth ME. Your selection will no doubt be influenced by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, be sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in a number of states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum level of training required to enter the field. They take roughly two years to complete and programs are offered at many Maine vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain 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 needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced design training after achieving the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer choices in specialized majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are mainly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are generally completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work as a professional and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be required before an applicant can take the licensing examination.
Online Interior Design Classes
For those who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their Yarmouth ME homes, there are online accredited interior design schools. Attending classes online can be a good alternative for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For some students online programs may be the sole option if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Added expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also obtain 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 Design Schools
After you have decided on the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of evaluating your college options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the campus has to be within driving distance from your Yarmouth ME 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 qualification. The cost of tuition will limit your choices also. But choosing the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to home are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other things that you should consider as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a list of questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others to help you assess and ultimately choose the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It’s important to make sure that the interior design program and college that you select has been accredited by either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive assessment 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 establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are exceptional, it may also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Yarmouth ME employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. So besides providing an excellent education, the Yarmouth ME school you select should also furnish the proper education to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Maine or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will probably need some support in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its students are sought after. It may also signify that the school has a significant network of Yarmouth ME business connections where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Yarmouth ME colleges you are evaluating and find out what type of support they offer. Many of interior design colleges provide financial aid to their incoming students. Various schools provide partial scholarships while others provide support in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Yarmouth ME programs you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Yarmouth home, go to the school and attend a couple of classes. While there talk with a few students and find out 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 Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior design college you select offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Yarmouth ME, verify that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Considering Attending Interior Design School in Yarmouth ME?
Yarmouth is a town in Cumberland County, Maine, United States, located twelve miles north of the state's largest city, Portland. The town was settled in 1636 and incorporated in 1849. Its population was 8,349 in the 2010 census. As of 2015's estimation, this is about 0.6% of Maine's total population.
The town's proximity to the Atlantic Ocean and its location on the banks of the Royal River, which empties into Casco Bay less than a mile away, means it is a prime location as a harbor. Ships were built in the harbor mainly between 1818 and the 1870s, at which point demand declined dramatically. Meanwhile, the Royal River's four waterfalls within Yarmouth, whose Main Street sits about 80 feet above sea level, resulted in the foundation of almost sixty mills between 1674 and 1931.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 22.94 square miles (59.41 km2), of which, 13.35 square miles (34.58 km2) (58%) is land and 9.59 square miles (24.84 km2) (42%) is water.
Enroll in the Best Interior Design School near Yarmouth ME
Choosing the ideal interior designer program is a crucial initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and rewarding occupation. Searching for a school where you will receive your training and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a challenging task regardless of what field you have chosen. As with any undertaking to acquire an advanced education, there are several things to consider before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the business. But it is still essential that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare schools so that you can make the right final selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Yarmouth ME.
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