How to Select an Interior Designer Program near Pawtucket Rhode Island
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer school near Pawtucket RI, it’s time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial spaces, it’s essential that you get the right training to put your skills to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s essential that you do the appropriate research in order to evaluate and compare each college that you are reviewing prior to making your final selection. But exactly where do you start? Many future students will kick off their research by looking for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are key factors when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into consideration as well. We will address those topics and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But first, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training choices are offered.
Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Often people mistake interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The key distinction between the two is the level of education required. Anyone can do business 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 a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or living spaces functional as well as attractive. On many occasions they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Pawtucket RI can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially 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 public or commercial areas, designers often 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 banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.
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 need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui principles, Pawtucket RI interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to receive the training needed to launch your new career in Pawtucket RI. Your choice will no doubt be driven by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required 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 accreditation benefits later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum amount of training needed to enter the field. They take approximately 2 years to complete and programs are offered at many Rhode Island vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that provide more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative facets of the business 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 2 year programs provide advanced design training after acquiring 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 enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are mostly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are usually completed in three to five years.
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, two or more years of field experience may be needed before a candidate can take the licensing exam.
Online Interior Designer Schools
For students who to attend classes in the convenience of their Pawtucket RI homes, there are accredited online interior design degrees. Attending classes online can be a good alternative for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For many students online programs may be the only alternative if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Added expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated also. Just make sure that the college you choose is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the dedication to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the perfect alternative for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Design Programs
Once you have chosen the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of assessing your school options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the college needs to be within commuting distance from your Pawtucket RI residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will decrease your choices as well. But selecting the cheapest college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you should look at also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a list of questions that you may want to address with the programs you are reviewing to get those answers in addition to others to help you assess and subsequently choose the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It’s essential to confirm that the interior design program and college 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). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just verify that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are excellent, 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 Pawtucket RI employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do require that interior designers get 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 school. And in several of those States requiring licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required also. Therefore besides furnishing an excellent education, the Pawtucket RI program you choose should also provide the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for Rhode Island or the State where you will be working.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will probably want some support in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It might also signify that the college has a large network of Pawtucket RI business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Pawtucket RI colleges you are evaluating and find out what type of assistance they provide. Many of interior designer schools provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide help in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Pawtucket RI schools you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Pawtucket home, visit the college and monitor a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some students and ask 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 Fit your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior design college you select provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Pawtucket RI, make sure that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option also. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.
Considering Attending Interior Design School in Pawtucket RI?
Pawtucket, Rhode Island
The Pawtucket region was said to have been one of the most populous places in New England prior to the arrival of European settlers.Native Americans would gather here to take advantage of the salmon and smaller fish which gathered at the falls. The first European settler here was Joseph Jenckes, who came to the region from Lynn, Massachusetts. He purchased about 60 acres near Pawtucket Falls in 1671. He established a sawmill and forge. These, along with the entire town, were later destroyed during King Philip's War.
Other settlers followed Jencks, and by 1775 the area was home to manufacturers of muskets, linseed oil, potash, and ship building. Also around this time Oziel Wilkinson and his family set up an iron forge making anchors, nails, screws, farm implements, and even cannons.
Originally, the land west of the Blackstone River was part of nearby North Providence. East of the Blackstone River was originally settled as part of the Massachusetts town of Rehoboth, then was incorporated as Pawtucket, Massachusetts in 1828. In 1862 the eastern portion was absorbed into Providence County, Rhode Island.
Enroll in the Ideal Interior Design School near Pawtucket RI
Selecting the right interior designer college is a crucial initial step toward starting your career in this creative and gratifying profession. Finding a school where you will receive your education and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult job no matter what major you have decided on. As with any endeavor to attain an advanced education, there are many things to think about before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, confirm that the design college and program are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. However it is still essential that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare colleges so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Pawtucket RI.
More Awesome Cities in Rhode Island
Business Results 1 - 10 of 128