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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Newark DE

How to Pick the Right Interior Design Degree Program

Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Newark DE, it's time to begin 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 get the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's essential that you carry out the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each program that you are reviewing prior to making your final decision. But just where do you start? A number of prospective students will start their research by searching for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are key variables when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation 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 reviewing later in this article. But before we do, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class options are offered.

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Interior Design and Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Newark DE

Often people confuse interior design for interior decoration. The primary distinction between them is the amount of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. However, conducting 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 residential spaces functional as well as attractive. On various occasions they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Newark DE may specialize in:

  • Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically 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 working on public or commercial areas, designers often concentrate primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the main consideration.

There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, including color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Newark Delaware interior designers employ a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
 

Interior Designer Training Programs

There are 4 degree options available in interior design to acquire the training necessary to launch your new profession in Newark DE. Your selection will no doubt be motivated by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, be sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in several states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum level of training needed to enter the field. They take approximately 2 years to finish and programs are available at numerous Delaware trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that furnish more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative aspects of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs supply advanced design training after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide alternatives in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. 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 three to five years.

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

Questions to Ask Interior Designer Programs

Newark Delaware interior designer bathroomAfter you have chosen the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of reviewing your school options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the college must be within commuting distance from your Newark DE home. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will narrow down your options as well. But selecting the most affordable school or the one that is closest to home are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you need to look at as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and ultimately pick the right degree program.

Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's essential to verify that the interior designer college and program that you enroll in 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 an extensive assessment of their programs and teachers. Just verify 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 school and the quality of the education are outstanding, it might also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Newark Delaware employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.

Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States calling for licensing, at least 2 years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore aside from providing an exceptional education, the Newark DE program you choose should also furnish the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Delaware or the State where you will be employed.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will probably need some help in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It may also indicate that the college has a significant network of Newark DE business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Newark DE schools you are reviewing and find out what type of assistance they provide. A number of interior designer programs provide financial assistance to their new students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide help in acquiring federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Big are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Newark DE colleges you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Newark home, go to the campus 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 experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior design school you choose provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Newark DE, verify that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Choose the Right Interior Design College near Newark Delaware

interior designed kitchen in Newark DelawareChoosing the right interior design program is a crucial first step toward starting your career in this artistic and gratifying profession. Finding a college where you will receive your education and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a challenging task no matter what field you have selected. As with any undertaking to receive a higher education, there are a number of things to think about before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. However it is still essential that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Newark Delaware.