How to Choose an Interior Designer Course near Wenatchee Washington
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near Wenatchee WA, it’s time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it’s important that you obtain the appropriate training to put your skills to work. And since some states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it’s vital that you perform the appropriate research so that you can evaluate and compare each college that you are considering prior to making your final decision. But where do you start? Many prospective students will kick off their research by searching for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are important variables when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into account also. We will address those topics and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are available.
Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Some people confuse interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The key distinction between the two is the amount of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess 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 Associate or Bachelor’s Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or living areas functional as well as attractive. On various occasions they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Wenatchee WA can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers frequently focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the primary concern.
There are numerous areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. They must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui principles, Wenatchee WA interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that help bring about their final creations.
Interior Designer Training Programs
There are four degree options available in interior design to acquire the training necessary to launch your new profession in Wenatchee WA. Your selection will undoubtedly be motivated by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, make certain to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated 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 benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum amount of education needed to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to finish and programs are available at numerous Washington trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can normally 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 deal with the creative and technical aspects of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest credential 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 acquiring the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide choices in specialty majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are primarily for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work professionally and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, many states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be required before a candidate can take the licensing exam.
Online Interior Design Classes
For individuals who wish to study in the convenience of their Wenatchee WA homes, there are online accredited interior design colleges. Attending classes online can be a great alternative for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For a number of students online colleges may be the only 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. Additional costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make certain that the program you pick is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the dedication 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.
What to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
When you have selected the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of evaluating your college options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the school has to be within commuting distance from your Wenatchee WA home. Naturally if you are interested in attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will limit your choices also. But picking the most affordable school or the one that is closest to home are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other things that you should consider as well, such as the accreditation and reputation 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 to help you compare and subsequently pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It’s necessary to confirm that the interior designer school and program that you choose has earned accreditation from 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 earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are excellent, it may also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Wenatchee WA employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do require that interior designers get 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 some of those States calling for licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to providing an exceptional education, the Wenatchee WA college you select should also furnish the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Washington or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will no doubt need some help in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its students are sought after. It could also signify that the school has a significant network of Wenatchee WA business connections where they can place students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Wenatchee WA schools you are looking at and ask what kind of aid they offer. Many of interior designer colleges offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Some schools provide partial scholarships and others provide help in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Wenatchee WA colleges you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Wenatchee home, go to the campus and attend a few classes. While there talk with a few 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 Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior design school you choose offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Wenatchee WA, make certain that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Considering Attending Interior Design School in Wenatchee WA?
Wenatchee (/wɛˈnætʃiː/ wen-ATCH-ee) is a city located in north-central Washington and is the largest city and county seat of Chelan County, Washington, United States. The population within the city limits in 2010 was 31,925. In 2014, the Office of Financial Management estimated the population at 33,070. Located at the confluence of the Columbia and Wenatchee rivers near the eastern foothills of the Cascade Range, Wenatchee lies on the western side of the Columbia River, across from the city of East Wenatchee. The Columbia River forms the boundary between Chelan and Douglas County. Wenatchee is the principal city of the Wenatchee–East Wenatchee, Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area, which encompasses all of Chelan and Douglas counties (total population around 110,884). However, the "Wenatchee Valley Area" generally refers to the land between Rocky Reach and Rock Island Dam on both banks of the Columbia, which includes East Wenatchee, Rock Island, and Malaga.
The city was named for the nearby Wenatchi Indian tribe. The name is a Sahaptin word that means "river which comes [or whose source is] from canyons" or "robe of the rainbow". Awenatchela means "people at the source [of a river]". The city of Wenatchee shares its name with the Wenatchee River, Lake Wenatchee and the Wenatchee National Forest.
Wenatchee is known as the "Apple Capital of the World" due to the valley's many orchards. The city is also sometimes referred to as the "Buckle of the Power Belt of the Great Northwest". The "Power Belt of the Great Northwest" is a metaphor for the series of hydroelectric dams on the Columbia River. Rock Island Dam is located nearest to the middle of this "belt", and so was labeled the "Buckle". This saying is printed at the top of every issue of Wenatchee's newspaper, the Wenatchee World, and is no longer in common use elsewhere.
Find the Right Interior Design School near Wenatchee WA
Choosing the right interior design school is a crucial initial step toward launching your career in this creative and rewarding occupation. Locating a college where you will obtain your training and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a difficult task regardless of what field you have decided on. As with any endeavor to acquire a higher education, there are a number of things to think about before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the field. But it is still important that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare programs so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Wenatchee WA.
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