How to Find an Interior Designer Degree Program near Elko Nevada
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer college near Elko NV, it’s time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial spaces, it’s imperative that you obtain the right training to put your talents to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it’s vital that you do the appropriate research so that you can analyze and compare each college that you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate choice. But just where do you begin? A number of prospective students will launch their research by searching for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are important factors when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation must be considered as well. We will cover 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 cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class options are offered.
Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design
Many people mistake interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The key difference between the two is the amount of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, conducting business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or residential spaces functional as well as attractive. On many occasions they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are two broad areas that an interior designer in Elko NV can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers typically 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 specific room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers normally focus predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over looks as the main consideration.
There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, such as lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. 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 principles, Elko NV interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
Interior Designer Degrees
There are four degree options available in interior design to receive the training necessary to launch your new career in Elko NV. Your decision will no doubt be driven by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, be sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in a number of states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum amount of training needed to enter the field. They take about two years to finish and programs are offered at many Nevada community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can typically obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that furnish more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical aspects of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs provide advanced design training after achieving the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer choices in specialized majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mostly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work professionally and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be required before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.
Online Interior Design Schools
For those who wish to study in the comfort of their Elko NV homes, there are online accredited interior design colleges. Studying online can be a great alternative for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For a number of students online schools may be the sole option if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Added costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated also. Just be sure that the college you select is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, 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 learning. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the perfect option for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Design Colleges
Now that you have chosen the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of assessing your college options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the college needs to be within driving distance from your Elko NV home. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will decrease your choices also. But selecting the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you need to consider as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a few questions that you may want to address with the programs you are considering to get those answers in addition to others to help you assess and subsequently pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It’s important to verify that the interior design 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). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive evaluation of their teachers and programs. 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 confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are outstanding, it may also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Elko NV employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States calling for licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore aside from providing an outstanding education, the Elko NV college you enroll in should also provide the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for Nevada or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will probably need some support in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design field and its graduates are in demand. It might also signify that the school has a sizable network of Elko NV business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Elko NV colleges you are evaluating and ask what kind of support they offer. A number of interior designer schools offer financial assistance to their new students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in securing federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Elko NV programs you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Elko home, visit the school and sit in on a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior design program you select offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Elko NV, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Considering Attending Interior Design School in Elko NV?
Coordinates: 40°50′N 115°46′W / 40.833°N 115.767°W / 40.833; -115.767 Elko (Shoshoni: Natakkoa, "Rocks Piled on One Another") is the largest city and county seat of Elko County, Nevada, United States. The population was 18,297 at the 2010 census. The city straddles the Humboldt River.
Elko is the principal city of the Elko Micropolitan Statistical Area, a micropolitan area that covers Elko and Eureka counties. It is the largest city for over 225 miles (362 km) in all directions, making it, as its city motto states, "The Heart of Northeast Nevada".
Though Elko lies along the route of the historic California Trail, it was first inhabited only in 1868, when it was at the east end of the railroad tracks built by the Central Pacific Railroad (the portion of the First Transcontinental Railroad built from California to Utah). When the railroad crews moved on, Elko remained, serving as a center for ranching, mining, rail freight and general supplies.
Choose the Best Interior Design School near Elko NV
Picking the right interior designer program is an important first step toward starting your career in this creative and gratifying occupation. Locating a school where you will obtain your training and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a challenging job regardless of what field you have chosen. As with any undertaking to acquire an advanced education, there are many points to consider before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the field. But it is still important that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare colleges so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Elko NV.
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