How to Select the Best Interior Design Course near Waterford Michigan
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near Waterford MI, it’s time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it’s essential that you obtain 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 training to pass a licensing examination also. So it’s very important that you do the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each school that you are reviewing before you make your final decision. But where do you begin? Many potential students will launch their research by searching for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are relevant variables when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation should be considered also. We will discuss those topics and other important questions that you must ask 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 training options are available.
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Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Some people mistake interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The primary difference 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 areas. However, doing business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or living areas attractive as well as functional. On various occasions they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad areas that an interior designer in Waterford MI can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any room of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers often concentrate predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary concern.
There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, including lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. They need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui concepts, Waterford MI interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final creations.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to obtain the training required to launch your new career in Waterford MI. Your choice will undoubtedly be driven 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 choose to enroll in, be sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in some states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum level of training required to enter the profession. They take about 2 years to finish and programs are available at many Michigan community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can usually obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that supply more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical components of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs supply advanced training in design after acquiring a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer alternatives in specialized majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are largely for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work professionally and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be needed before an applicant can take the licensing examination.
Online Interior Designer Schools
For students who to study in the convenience of their Waterford MI homes, there are accredited online interior design programs. Studying online can be a great alternative for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For some students online colleges may be the only option if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Additional expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the program you select is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, 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 distance or online education. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the perfect option for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Design Schools
Once you have selected the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of analyzing your school options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the campus needs to be within driving distance from your Waterford MI residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will narrow down your options also. But picking the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you should consider as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a list of questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others to help you compare and subsequently select the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It’s important to make sure that the interior design college and program that you enroll in has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding assessment of their programs and teachers. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are outstanding, it might also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Waterford MI employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do mandate 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 college. And in some of those States calling for licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to furnishing an outstanding education, the Waterford MI program you select should also provide the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Michigan 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 no doubt want some support in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its students are sought after. It may also signify that the college has a sizable network of Waterford MI business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Waterford MI colleges you are evaluating and ask what type of aid they provide. A number of interior designer programs offer financial assistance to their new students. Some schools provide partial scholarships and others provide support in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classes? 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 Waterford MI colleges you are considering what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Waterford home, visit the college and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior designer program you choose offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Waterford MI, make certain that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Accredited Interior Design Colleges Waterford MI
Picking the right interior designer program is a critical first step toward launching your career in this creative and fulfilling occupation. Searching for a college where you will receive your education and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a challenging job no matter what major you have decided on. As with any endeavor to receive an advanced education, there are several factors to think about before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, check that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Accredited Interior Design Colleges and wanted more info on the topic Best Online Interior Design Schools. But it is still imperative that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design programs so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Waterford MI.
Other Michigan Designer Locations
Waterford Township, Michigan
In 1818, Oliver Williams selected land in Oakland County which he purchased for two dollars an acre. Archibald Phillips and Alpheus Williams purchased 161.40 acres (653,200 m2) in what later became Waterford Village.
In 1819, Alpheus Williams and Archibald Phillips continued on to where the Clinton River crossed the old Saginaw Trail (now known as Dixie Highway). They settled at the site of the present Waterford Village. Here the first house of Waterford Village was built by Alpheus Williams on the north bank of the river. Archibald Phillips built his home across from the south corner where Andersonville Road meets Dixie Highway.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 35.3 square miles (91 km2), of which 31.3 square miles (81 km2) is land and 4.0 square miles (10 km2), or 11.22%, is water.
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