How to Select the Right Interior Design School near Orford New Hampshire
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design college near Orford NH, it’s time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors, it’s important that you obtain the proper training to put your skills to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it’s very important that you carry out the proper research in order to evaluate and compare each school that you are looking at prior to making your final decision. But just where do you begin? A number of 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 variables when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation must be considered as well. We will cover those topics and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are interested in 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 alternatives are offered.
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Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Many people mistake interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The main difference between the two is the amount of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make living or work areas attractive as well as functional. On various projects they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Orford NH may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any room of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers often concentrate predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.
There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, for example color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. They must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui concepts, Orford NH interior designers implement a wide range of skills that help bring about their final creations.
Interior Designer Degrees
There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to acquire the training needed to begin your new career in Orford NH. Your selection will undoubtedly be motivated by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, be sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in several states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum amount of training required to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to finish and programs are available at a number of New Hampshire trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that deliver more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative aspects of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest 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 provide advanced training in design after acquiring the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer alternatives in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are largely 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 professionally and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.
Online Interior Design Colleges
For those who wish to study in the convenience of their Orford NH homes, there are online accredited interior design colleges. Studying online can be an excellent option for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For many students online colleges may be the only option 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 study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make sure that the school you enroll in is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the discipline to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the ideal alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Design Programs
When you have decided on the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of reviewing your school options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the campus must be within commuting distance from your Orford NH home. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will narrow down your options also. But picking the most affordable college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other things that you need to consider also, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Below are a few questions that you may want to ask the programs you are considering to get those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and subsequently choose the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It’s necessary to make sure that the interior designer program and school that you choose has earned accreditation from 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 earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just verify 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 confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it might also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Orford NH employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do require 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 program. And in some of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore besides providing an outstanding education, the Orford NH program you select should also furnish the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for New Hampshire or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some help in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its graduates are in demand. It could also indicate that the college has a significant network of Orford NH business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Contact the financial aid offices for the Orford NH colleges you are looking at and ask what type of support they provide. A number of interior design schools provide financial aid to their new students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide help in securing federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Orford NH programs you are considering what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Orford home, visit the college and sit in on a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior design program you enroll in offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Orford NH, confirm that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, check that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Universities For Interior Design Orford NH
Picking the ideal interior designer school is an important initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and rewarding profession. Finding a school where you will obtain your training and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting task regardless of what major you have selected. As with any endeavor to acquire a higher education, there are a number of things to think about before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Universities For Interior Design and wanted more info on the topic Colleges That Major In Interior Design. But it is still essential that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Orford NH.
Other New Hampshire Designer Locations
Orford, New Hampshire
First called Number Seven in a line of Connecticut River fort towns, Orford was incorporated in 1761 by Governor Benning Wentworth and named for Robert Walpole, Earl of Orford, who was England's first prime minister. It was settled in 1765 by Daniel Cross and wife from Lebanon, Connecticut. By 1859, it had 1,406 inhabitants, most involved in agriculture. There was a large tannery, chair factory, 10 sawmills, a starch factory, a gristmill, a sash, blind and door factory, and 2 boot and shoe factories.
An original grantee was General Israel Morey, whose son Samuel Morey discovered a way to separate hydrogen from oxygen in water, making possible the first marine steam engine. He recognized the potential of steam power after working at his father's ferry. In 1793, on the river at Orford, he was first to demonstrate the use of a paddlewheel to propel a steam boat.
Author Washington Irving visited Orford in 1832 and is quoted as saying, "In all my travels in this country and in Europe, I have seen no village more beautiful than this. It is a charming place -- nature has done her utmost here." Of the famous sequence of seven early homes built on The Ridge, Dartmouth Professor of Architecture Hugh Morrison said, "As a row and counting the setting, this is the finest group of Federal-style houses in the United States." Built between 1773 and 1839, the dwellings show the influence of architect Asher Benjamin.
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