How to Choose an Interior Designer Program near West Union Ohio
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer school near West Union OH, it’s time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial spaces, it’s essential that you obtain the appropriate training to put your talents to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it’s crucial that you perform the appropriate research in order to analyze and compare each college that you are considering prior to making your final selection. But exactly where do you start? Many potential students will launch their research by looking for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are important variables when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation need to be considered as well. We will cover those issues and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are looking at 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 alternatives are offered.
Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration
Often people confuse interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The primary difference between the two is the amount of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. However, doing business as an interior designer necessitates formal training 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 areas attractive as well as functional. On some projects they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are two general categories that an interior designer in West Union OH may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any room of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers frequently concentrate predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.
There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, such as color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui concepts, West Union OH interior designers implement a wide range of skills that help bring about their final creations.
Interior Designer Degree Options
There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to acquire the training required to start your new profession in West Union OH. Your selection will no doubt be driven by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in several states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum level of education needed to enter the profession. They take approximately two years to finish and programs are available at a number of Ohio trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that provide more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative aspects of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced training in design after attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide choices in specialty majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are largely for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work professionally and use the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be needed before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Designer Online Schools
For students who to study in the comfort of their West Union OH homes, there are online accredited interior design colleges. Studying online can be an excellent option for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For many students online schools 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. Additional expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated also. Just be sure that the school you choose is accredited by a respected accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the discipline to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the ideal alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Designer Schools
After you have selected the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of evaluating your college options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the campus has to be within driving distance from your West Union OH home. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But choosing the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your house are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you need to look at also, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the colleges you are reviewing to get those answers in addition to others to help you assess and subsequently choose the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It’s necessary to make sure that the interior designer school and program that you enroll in has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive evaluation 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 organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are excellent, it may also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many West Union OH employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do mandate that interior designers become 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 school. And in several of those States calling for licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. Therefore besides providing an outstanding education, the West Union OH school you select should also provide the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Ohio or the State where you will be working.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will probably need some help in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job assistance 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 could also indicate that the school has a large network of West Union OH business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial aid departments for the West Union OH schools you are evaluating and ask what type of assistance they offer. Many of interior design colleges provide financial aid to their new students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide support in acquiring grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the West Union OH schools you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your West Union home, visit the school and monitor a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior designer program you choose offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near West Union OH, make certain that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an alternative 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 West Union OH?
West Union, Ohio
Ironically, West Union lies east of Union, Ohio, a city in Montgomery County approximately 10 miles north of Dayton. West Union and Union are not adjacent to each other, actually being approximately 120 miles from each other.
As of the census of 2010, there were 3,241 people, 1,322 households, and 805 families residing in the village. The population density was 1,145.2 inhabitants per square mile (442.2/km2). There were 1,493 housing units at an average density of 527.6 per square mile (203.7/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 97.4% White, 0.4% African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 0.3% from other races, and 1.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.8% of the population.
There were 1,322 households of which 32.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.5% were married couples living together, 17.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.8% had a male householder with no wife present, and 39.1% were non-families. 35.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.29 and the average family size was 2.91.
Find the Ideal Interior Design School near West Union OH
Selecting the right interior design program is an important initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and fulfilling profession. Locating a school where you will obtain your education and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a difficult job regardless of what field you have decided on. As with any undertaking to recieve an advanced education, there are several things to consider before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. But it is still imperative that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare schools so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in West Union OH.
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