How to Select an Interior Designer Degree Program near Salem New Mexico
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design college near Salem NM, it’s time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial interiors, it’s important that you receive the appropriate training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it’s essential that you do the proper research in order to assess and compare each program that you are looking at before you make your final decision. But exactly where do you begin? A number of prospective students will start their research by looking for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are relevant variables when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into consideration as well. We will address those issues and other important questions that you should be asking 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 class options are available.
Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design
Often people confuse interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The main difference between them 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 areas. On the other hand, working as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make living or work areas attractive as well as functional. On some occasions they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are two broad areas that an interior designer in Salem NM may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers often 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 may specialize in designing one specific room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers frequently focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.
There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui principles, Salem NM interior designers implement a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
Interior Designer Degree Options
There are four degree options offered in interior design to get the training needed to begin your new career in Salem NM. Your choice will no doubt be driven by your career objectives in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make certain to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in a number of states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum level of training needed to enter the field. They take roughly two years to finish and programs are available at many New Mexico vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can normally obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that deliver more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative components of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a college graduate 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 achieving a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide options in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mostly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary 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 schools become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be called for before an applicant can take the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Classes
For individuals who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Salem NM homes, there are online accredited interior design programs. Attending classes online can be a great solution for those students that are working or have hectic 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 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 conventional options. Additional costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated also. Just make certain that the college you enroll in is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, 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 distance or online learning. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the perfect option for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
After you have selected the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of assessing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the campus needs to be within commuting distance from your Salem NM home. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will decrease your options as well. But choosing the least expensive college 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 consider also, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a few questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and subsequently select the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It’s essential to confirm that the interior designer school and program that you choose has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous assessment of their teachers and programs. Just make sure 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 verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are outstanding, it may also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Salem NM employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
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) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States requiring licensing, a minimum of 2 years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore aside from furnishing an excellent education, the Salem NM program you select should also furnish the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for New Mexico or the State where you will be employed.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will probably want some assistance 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 sign that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession and its students are sought after. It might also indicate that the college has a significant network of Salem NM business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Contact the financial aid offices for the Salem NM colleges you are evaluating and ask what kind of aid they offer. A number of interior designer colleges offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide support in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again 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 counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Salem NM schools you are considering what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Salem home, go to the college and sit in on a couple of 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 Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior design program you choose provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Salem NM, make sure that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Considering Attending Interior Design School in Salem NM?
Salem, New Mexico
As of the census of 2000, there were 795 people, 178 households, and 160 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 615.1 people per square mile (237.9/km²). There were 199 housing units at an average density of 154.0 per square mile (59.6/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 29.43% White, 0.50% African American, 1.38% Native American, 0.25% Asian, 64.53% from other races, and 3.90% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 94.09% of the population.
There were 178 households out of which 67.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 70.8% were married couples living together, 9.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 10.1% were non-families. 7.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 4.47 and the average family size was 4.74.
In the CDP, the population was spread out with 46.9% under the age of 18, 10.9% from 18 to 24, 23.5% from 25 to 44, 13.2% from 45 to 64, and 5.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 19 years. For every 100 females there were 116.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 107.9 males.
Pick the Ideal Interior Design School near Salem NM
Selecting the right interior designer college is a crucial initial step toward starting your career in this creative and fulfilling occupation. Searching for a school where you will obtain your training and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a difficult job regardless of what field you have selected. As with any undertaking to attain an advanced education, there are many things to think about before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, confirm that the design college and program are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. However it is still important that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare schools so that you can make the right final selection. And with quality training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Salem NM.
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