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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Newark DE

How to Pick the Right Interior Designer College

Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer school near Newark DE, it's time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's essential that you obtain the right training to put your skills to work. And since several states do require 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 vital that you perform the appropriate research in order to evaluate and compare each program that you are looking at before you make your final selection. But exactly where do you begin? A number of potential students will begin their research by looking for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are relevant factors when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into account also. We will cover those issues and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training options are offered.

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Interior Decoration vs Interior Design

interior designed living room in Newark DE

Many people mistake interior design for interior decoration. The main difference between them is the amount of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. 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 trained to make living or work spaces functional as well as attractive. On some projects they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Newark DE can specialize in:

  • Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers normally 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 focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.

There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, such as color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui principles, Newark Delaware interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final designs.
 

Interior Designer Training Programs

There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to acquire the training required to begin your new career in Newark DE. Your decision will no doubt be motivated by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have budgeted to commit 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 qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in several states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum level of education needed to enter the field. They take about two years to complete and programs are available at numerous Delaware vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can normally obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative facets of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced design training after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide alternatives in specialized majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are mainly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.

In order to work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be called for before a candidate can take the licensing exam.

Online Interior Design Schools

Newark DE student attending interior design school onlineFor students who wish to study in the comfort of their Newark DE homes, there are online accredited interior design schools. Studying online can be a good alternative for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For some students online schools may be the sole alternative if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the school you enroll in is accredited by a respected accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the perfect option for you.

What to Ask Interior Design Colleges

Once you have chosen the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of reviewing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the school needs to be within driving distance from your Newark DE home. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will narrow down your choices also. But picking the cheapest college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other things that you should consider also, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and subsequently choose the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's important to verify that the interior designer program and college 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). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just make sure 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 establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Newark Delaware employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.

Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States calling for licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required as well. So aside from furnishing an outstanding education, the Newark DE college you select should also provide the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Delaware or the State where you will be employed.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some support 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 high rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession and its students are sought after. It may also signify that the school has a sizable network of Newark DE business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial aid departments for the Newark DE colleges you are reviewing and find out what kind of aid they provide. A number of interior designer programs provide financial assistance to their new students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Big are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Newark DE colleges you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Newark home, go to the school and attend a couple of 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 Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior designer college you enroll in provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Newark DE, confirm that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Choose the Right Interior Designer College near Newark Delaware

interior designed kitchen in Newark DelawareSelecting the right interior design school is an important first step toward launching your career in this artistic and rewarding profession. Locating a college where you will obtain your education and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a difficult task regardless of what major you have selected. As with any undertaking to receive an advanced education, there are several things to consider before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. But it is still essential that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Newark Delaware.