How to Choose an Interior Design Degree Program near Worcester Pennsylvania
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer college near Worcester PA, it’s time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it’s important that you receive the right 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 training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it’s very important that you perform the appropriate research in order to assess and compare each program that you are looking at before you make your ultimate selection. But exactly where do you start? Many potential students will begin their research by looking for interior design programs 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 must be taken into account also. We will cover those issues 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 choices are offered.
Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration
Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The main distinction between them is the level of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer necessitates formal training 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 areas attractive as well as functional. On some occasions they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are two broad areas that an interior designer in Worcester PA can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any room of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers frequently focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might concentrate more on functionality over looks as the main consideration.
There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. They need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui concepts, Worcester PA interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final designs.
Interior Design Degrees
There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to acquire the training necessary to begin your new career in Worcester PA. Your selection will undoubtedly be motivated by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in several states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short 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 profession. They take about two years to finish and programs are offered at a number of Pennsylvania trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can usually obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that supply more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical components of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs supply advanced training in design after attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer alternatives in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mainly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are usually completed in three to five years.
In order 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 required before an applicant can take the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Schools
For individuals who wish to study in the comfort of their Worcester PA homes, there are accredited online interior design schools. Studying online can be a great solution for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For a number of students online schools may be the sole alternative if no interior design schools are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Additional costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated also. Just be sure that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the ideal alternative for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Programs
When you have selected the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of assessing your college options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the campus needs to be within driving distance from your Worcester PA residence. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will limit your options also. But choosing the most affordable school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other variables 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 ask the programs you are looking at to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and subsequently choose the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It’s important to make sure that the interior design school and program that you choose has been accredited by either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous evaluation of their programs and teachers. Just make sure that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are exceptional, it might also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Worcester PA employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States requiring licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required also. Therefore aside from furnishing an exceptional education, the Worcester PA program you select should also provide the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Pennsylvania or the State where you will be working.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It may also signify that the school has a large network of Worcester PA business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Worcester PA schools you are reviewing and ask what kind of aid they offer. A number of interior design schools offer financial aid to their incoming students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide help in acquiring federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Worcester PA schools you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Worcester home, go to the college and monitor a few classes. While there talk with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior design program you select provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Worcester PA, verify that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Considering Attending Interior Design School in Worcester PA?
Worcester Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania
According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 16.2 square miles (42 km2), of which 0.06% is water. It is in the Schuylkill River watershed and is drained via Skippack Creek, which is a tributary of Perkiomen Creek, and Stony Creek. Its villages include Bethel Hill, Cedars, Center Point, Fairview Village, Heebnerville, Providence Square, and Worcester.
As of the census of 2000, there were 7,789 people, 2,896 households, and 2,145 families residing in the township. The population density was 480.2 people per square mile (185.4/km2). There were 3,026 housing units at an average density of 72.0/km2 (186.6/mi²). The racial makeup of the township was 92.14% White, 2.32% African American, 0.03% Native American, 4.43% Asian, 0.00% Pacific Islander, 0.24% from other races, and 0.83% from two or more races. 0.87% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 2,896 households, out of which 36.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 65.8% were married couples living together, 5.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.9% were non-families. 23.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.69 and the average family size was 3.20.
Enroll in the Best Interior Design School near Worcester PA
Selecting the right interior designer college is an important initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and fulfilling profession. Locating a college where you will receive your training and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a challenging job no matter what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to attain an advanced education, there are many things to consider before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, verify that the design college and program are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. However it is still important that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare colleges so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Worcester PA.
More Awesome Cities in Pennsylvania
Business Results 1 - 10 of 174