How to Select the Right Interior Design School near Waterford Ohio
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design college near Waterford OH, it’s time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential interiors, it’s important 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 could need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it’s vital that you perform the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each college that you are looking at before you make your final selection. But exactly where do you begin? A number of future students will kick off their research by searching for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are relevant variables when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation need to be taken into consideration also. We will discuss those issues and other crucial questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are reviewing 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 options are offered.
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Interior Decoration and Interior Design
Many people confuse interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The primary distinction between them is the amount of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or living spaces functional as well as attractive. On some projects they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are two broad areas that an interior designer in Waterford OH may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any room of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers frequently focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over appearance as the main consideration.
There are numerous areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, including color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. 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 principles, Waterford OH interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final designs.
Interior Design Degree Programs
There are four degree options offered in interior design to get the training needed to begin your new career in Waterford OH. Your selection will no doubt be motivated by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in several states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum level of education required to enter the profession. They take approximately two years to complete and programs are offered at a number of Ohio vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that deliver more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative aspects of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced training in design after attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer choices in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are primarily for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are generally completed in three to five years.
In order to work as a professional and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be called for before an applicant can take the licensing examination.
Interior Designer Online Classes
For those who wish to study in the comfort of their Waterford OH homes, there are online accredited interior design colleges. Studying online can be a good alternative for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For many students online schools may be the only alternative if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Added expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated also. Just make certain that the program you select is accredited by a respected accrediting organization, 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 online or distance education. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the ideal alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Design Colleges
Now that you have selected the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of reviewing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your Waterford OH home. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will limit your options as well. But selecting the cheapest school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you need to look at also, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and ultimately choose the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It’s necessary to verify that the interior designer program and school that you choose has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive assessment of their programs and instructors. Just make sure that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Waterford OH employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do mandate that interior designers get 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 school. And in some of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore besides providing an outstanding education, the Waterford OH school you enroll in should also furnish the proper education to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Ohio or the State where you will be working.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It may also indicate that the school has a significant network of Waterford OH business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Waterford OH schools you are evaluating and ask what kind of assistance they provide. A number of interior design colleges provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Some schools provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in acquiring federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Waterford OH schools you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Waterford home, visit the school and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior designer program you enroll in offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Waterford OH, verify that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Schools That Have Interior Design Majors Waterford OH
Selecting the right interior designer college is a critical first step toward launching your career in this creative and fulfilling profession. Searching for a school where you will receive your training and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult task no matter what major you have selected. As with any undertaking to acquire a higher education, there are a number of factors to think about before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, verify that the design college and program are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Schools That Have Interior Design Majors and wanted more info on the topic Interior Design Degrees Near Me. However it is still essential that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design programs so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Waterford OH.
Other Ohio Designer Locations
New Waterford, Ohio
New Waterford is a village in Unity Township, Columbiana County, Ohio, United States. The population was 1,238 at the 2010 census. New Waterford is located in the Salem, OH Micropolitan Statistical Area, as well as the southern regions of the greater Mahoning Valley.
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,238 people, 513 households, and 348 families residing in the village. The population density was 1,391.0 inhabitants per square mile (537.1/km2). There were 558 housing units at an average density of 627.0 per square mile (242.1/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 98.1% White, 0.2% African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 0.1% from other races, and 0.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.6% of the population.
There were 513 households of which 30.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.3% were married couples living together, 13.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.5% had a male householder with no wife present, and 32.2% were non-families. 29.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.41 and the average family size was 2.94.
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