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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Newark DE

How to Pick the Right Interior Designer College

Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design college near Newark DE, it's time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's important that you receive the appropriate 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 training to pass a licensing exam also. So it's crucial that you perform the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each program that you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision. But where do you begin? Many prospective students will start their research by searching for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are relevant issues when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation need to be taken into consideration also. We will address those issues and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But before we do, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are available.

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Interior Design and Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Newark DE

Many people mistake interior decoration for interior design. The principal distinction between them is the level of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. However, doing business as an interior designer requires formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make living or work areas attractive as well as functional. On various projects they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Newark DE can specialize in:

  • Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any room of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers often concentrate predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.

There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, for example color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They 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 including Feng shui concepts, Newark Delaware interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
 

Interior Design Degree Options

There are 4 degree options available in interior design to obtain the training required to begin your new profession in Newark DE. Your selection will undoubtedly be motivated by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is required 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 accreditation benefits later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum amount of education needed to enter the field. They take approximately two years to complete and programs are available at a number of Delaware vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that provide more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical 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 two year programs supply advanced design training after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are mainly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.

To work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.

Why Study to Become an Interior Designer?

Newark DE student attending interior design school onlineThere are many options available to you once you graduate and enter the field of interior design.  If you’ve got an entrepreneurial spirit you may become self-employed and open your own interior design shop. You might also work for a small or larger design firm. Designers have careers creating interiors for businesses, hospitals, government buildings, as well as private residences. Rarely is a design career a 9 to 5 job. You’ll need to be flexible, patient, and persistent to get your career off the ground. But you will have the opportunity to earn an attractive income as well as the personal satisfaction of creating beautiful living and working spaces.

What to Ask Interior Designer Colleges

Once you have chosen the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of assessing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the campus must be within commuting distance from your Newark DE residence. Naturally if you have decided on attending a school online, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will decrease your choices also. But choosing the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you should look at as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Following are a list of questions that you may want to ask the programs you are looking at to get those answers as well as others to help you assess and ultimately select the right degree program.

Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's essential to confirm that the interior designer program and school that you choose has been accredited by either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment of their teachers and programs. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are exceptional, it may also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Newark Delaware employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.

Does the Program Prepare 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 as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore besides providing an outstanding education, the Newark DE school you choose should also provide the proper education to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for Delaware or the State where you will be employed.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will no doubt need some help in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its students are sought after. It may also signify that the school has a significant network of Newark DE business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Newark DE schools you are evaluating and ask what type of support they provide. Many of interior design colleges provide financial aid to their new students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide help in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited program is imperative 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 Small are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Newark DE colleges you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Newark home, go to the school and attend a few classes. While there talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior design college you choose offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you will 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 attend part-time, check that is an option as well. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Choose the Right Interior Designer Program near Newark Delaware

interior designed kitchen in Newark DelawareChoosing the ideal interior design college is a crucial initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and fulfilling profession. Locating a school where you will obtain your education and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult job regardless of what field you have decided on. As with any endeavor to acquire a higher education, there are many things to think about before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, make sure that the design college and program are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. However it is still essential 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 effectively review and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Newark Delaware.