Home >> Delaware >> Wilmington >> Interior Design Schools Online


Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Wilmington DE

How to Pick the Best Interior Design College

Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Wilmington DE, it's time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's imperative that you receive the right training to put your talents to work. And since some states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's essential that you do the appropriate research in order to analyze and compare each school that you are considering before you make your final choice. But where do you begin? Some future students will start their research by looking for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are relevant factors when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into account as well. We will cover those issues and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class alternatives are offered.

Start Your Interior Design Career By Requesting Free Info on Local Schools Below

Interior Design and Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Wilmington DE

Some people confuse interior design for interior decoration. The principal difference between the two is the amount of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer requires formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or residential spaces attractive as well as functional. On some projects they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Wilmington DE may specialize in:

  • Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Designing. When working on public or commercial areas, designers frequently concentrate predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.

There are numerous areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, including lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. They have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Wilmington Delaware interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
 

Interior Designer Training Programs

There are four degree options available in interior design to acquire the training required to launch your new profession in Wilmington DE. Your selection will no doubt be motivated by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, make certain to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in some states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum amount of training needed to enter the profession. They take about 2 years to finish and programs are available at a number of Delaware community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that provide more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative aspects of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced design training after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialty 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. Doctoral programs are mostly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 years.

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

Interior Designer Online Classes

Wilmington DE student attending interior design school onlineFor individuals who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Wilmington DE homes, there are accredited online interior design colleges. Attending classes online can be a good solution for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For many students online colleges may be the only alternative if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Added expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the college you pick is accredited by a respected accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the ideal alternative for you.

What to Ask Interior Design Colleges

When you have decided on the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of assessing your school options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the school must be within commuting distance from your Wilmington DE residence. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will limit your choices as well. But choosing the most affordable school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you should look at also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are looking at to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and subsequently choose the right degree program.

Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's imperative to verify that the interior designer program and school that you choose has earned accreditation from 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). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding assessment of their teachers 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 agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training 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 Wilmington Delaware employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.

Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, 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) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required also. So in addition to providing an outstanding education, the Wilmington DE college you choose should also provide the proper education to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Delaware or the State where you will be working.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some help in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its students are sought after. It might also indicate that the college has a substantial network of Wilmington DE business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Wilmington DE colleges you are evaluating and ask what kind of aid they offer. A number of interior design colleges offer financial aid to their new students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships and others provide help in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.

How Small are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Wilmington DE programs you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Wilmington home, go to the college 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 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 hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Wilmington DE, verify that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.

Choose the Right Interior Designer School near Wilmington Delaware

interior designed kitchen in Wilmington DelawareChoosing the right interior designer college is a crucial first step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding profession. Searching for a school where you will obtain your training and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a challenging job regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any undertaking to acquire an advanced education, there are a number of factors to think about before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, confirm that the design college and program are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. But it is still important that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Wilmington Delaware.