How to Choose the Best Interior Design Degree Program near Raymond New Hampshire
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design school near Raymond NH, it’s time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential spaces, it’s essential that you obtain the proper training to put your skills to work. And since a number of 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 vital that you perform the appropriate research in order to assess and compare each program that you are reviewing before you make your ultimate selection. But where do you begin? Some prospective students will begin their research by searching for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are important issues when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into account as well. We will discuss those topics and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But before we do, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class options are available.
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Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design
Many people confuse interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The primary difference between them is the amount of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. However, working as an interior designer requires a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make living or work areas functional as well as attractive. On some occasions they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad areas that an interior designer in Raymond NH can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any room of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers often concentrate predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the primary concern.
There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, such as lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. They have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui concepts, Raymond NH interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
Interior Design Degree Programs
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to receive the training necessary to begin your new profession in Raymond NH. Your choice will undoubtedly be influenced by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide 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 mandated in some states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum level of education needed to enter the profession. They take about two years to complete and programs are offered at a number of New Hampshire vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can normally obtain entry level jobs 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 facets of the business needed to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced design training after attaining a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer options in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. 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 want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are generally completed in three to five years.
In order to work professionally and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, many states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be needed before an applicant can take the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Degree Programs
For students who to attend classes in the comfort of their Raymond NH homes, there are online accredited interior design programs. Studying online can be an excellent alternative for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For a number of students online colleges may be the sole option if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated also. Just be sure that the program you enroll in is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the discipline to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Designer Programs
Once you have chosen the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the school needs to be within commuting distance from your Raymond NH home. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will limit your options as well. But selecting the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you need to consider as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a few questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and subsequently pick the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It’s important to confirm that the interior design program and school that you select 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 obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive 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 agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are outstanding, it may also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Raymond NH employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate 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 mandating licensing, at least 2 years of occupational experience may be required also. So besides furnishing an exceptional education, the Raymond NH college you choose should also furnish the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for New Hampshire or the State where you will be working.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some support in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It may also indicate that the school has a substantial network of Raymond NH business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Raymond NH schools you are reviewing and find out what kind of assistance they provide. Many of interior design programs provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain schools offer partial scholarships and others provide help in acquiring grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer 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 instruction from the teachers. Ask the Raymond NH colleges you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Raymond home, visit the school and attend a couple of classes. While there speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior designer program you choose offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Raymond NH, verify that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Interior Designer Classes Raymond NH
Selecting the ideal interior designer school is a crucial initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and fulfilling profession. Searching for a school where you will receive your training and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a daunting job no matter what field you have chosen. As with any undertaking to attain an advanced education, there are a number of factors to consider before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the profession. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Interior Designer Classes and wanted more info on the topic Online Interior Design Bachelors Degree. However it is still essential that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design programs so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Raymond NH.
Other New Hampshire Designer Locations
Raymond, New Hampshire
Raymond is a town in Rockingham County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 10,138 at the 2010 census, and the estimated population in 2017 was 10,376. Part of Pawtuckaway State Park is in the north.
The central village in town, where 2,855 people resided at the 2010 census, is defined as the Raymond census-designated place (CDP), and is located along the Lamprey River near New Hampshire Route 27.
The town was first settled by families from Exeter as a parish of Chester, and known as "Freetown" because it was exempt from the usual obligation of reserving its tall pine trees for masts in the Royal English Navy. The town was incorporated in 1764 by Colonial Governor Benning Wentworth.
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