How to Find the Right Interior Designer College near West Columbia West Virginia
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design school near West Columbia WV, 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 imperative that you obtain the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it’s crucial that you do the proper research so that you can evaluate and compare each school that you are reviewing before you make your final decision. But just where do you begin? Many future students will kick off their research by looking for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are key issues when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into account also. We will cover those topics and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class choices are offered.
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Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design
Many people confuse interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The principal difference between them is the amount of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, doing business as an interior designer requires 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 living areas attractive as well as functional. On some projects they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in West Columbia WV can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers often concentrate predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the primary concern.
There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, for example color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui principles, West Columbia WV interior designers employ a wide range of skills that contribute to their final creations.
Interior Design Degrees
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to acquire the training required to begin your new profession in West Columbia WV. Your choice will no doubt be motivated by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have budgeted 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 needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in a number of states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum level of training needed to enter the profession. They take approximately two years to finish and programs are available at many West Virginia vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can typically obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that furnish more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical aspects of the business needed to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced design training after achieving a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide choices in specialized majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are largely 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 3 to 5 years.
To work professionally and use the title of “Interior Designer”, many states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.
Online Interior Design Colleges
For anyone wishing’ to attend classes in the convenience of their West Columbia WV homes, there are online accredited interior design degrees. Studying online can be a good solution for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For a number of students online programs may be the sole alternative if no interior design schools are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated also. Just make sure that the school you choose is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the perfect alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Designer Programs
Now that you have selected the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of assessing your college options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the college must be within commuting distance from your West Columbia WV home. Naturally if you are interested in attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will limit your options as well. But selecting the cheapest school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you should consider as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Below are a few questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others to help you assess and subsequently choose the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It’s imperative to make sure that the interior designer college and program that you enroll in 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). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous assessment of their instructors and programs. Just confirm 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 verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are outstanding, it may also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of West Columbia WV employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do mandate that interior designers get 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 program. And in several of those States calling for licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore besides furnishing an excellent education, the West Columbia WV college you choose should also furnish the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for West Virginia or the State where you will be employed.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will probably need some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the programs 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 a good sign that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It might also signify that the school has a sizable network of West Columbia WV business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Available? Contact the financial aid offices for the West Columbia WV colleges you are evaluating and ask what type of assistance they offer. Many of interior design schools provide financial aid to their new students. Some schools offer partial scholarships while others provide support in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the West Columbia WV programs you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your West Columbia home, visit the college and monitor a couple of classes. While there speak with some 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 Offered that Fit your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior design college you select provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near West Columbia WV, make certain that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Interior Design Schools Online Accredited West Columbia WV
Picking the right interior designer program is a crucial initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and rewarding profession. Finding a college where you will receive your education and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a challenging task regardless of what field you have selected. As with any undertaking to attain an advanced education, there are many factors to think about before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Interior Design Schools Online Accredited and wanted more info on the topic Accredited Local Interior Design Colleges. However it is still essential that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design schools so that you can make the right final selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in West Columbia WV.
Other West Virginia Designer Locations
West Columbia, West Virginia
West Columbia is an unincorporated community in Mason County, West Virginia, USA. West Columbia is located on the Ohio River and West Virginia Route 62 3 miles (4.8 km) southwest of Mason. West Columbia has a post office with ZIP code 25287.
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