How to Choose the Right Interior Designer College near Westfield New York
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer school near Westfield NY, it’s time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial spaces, it’s essential that you receive the appropriate training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s essential that you do the proper research so that you can assess and compare each program that you are reviewing before you make your final choice. But exactly where do you start? Some potential students will start their research by searching for interior design courses near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are important issues when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into consideration also. We will cover those topics and other important questions that you should be asking 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 class options are offered.
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Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design
Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The key distinction between the two is the level of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or living areas functional as well as attractive. On many occasions they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Westfield NY can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any room of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial areas, designers often concentrate predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over looks as the main consideration.
There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, such as lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. They must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui principles, Westfield NY interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
Interior Designer Degree Options
There are four degree options offered in interior design to receive the training required to start your new profession in Westfield NY. Your decision will undoubtedly be influenced by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But no matter 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) exam required in several states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum level of training required to enter the profession. They take about 2 years to finish and programs are available at numerous New York trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative components of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced design training after attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide alternatives in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mostly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are generally completed in three to five years.
To work as a professional and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required before an applicant can take the licensing exam.
Online Interior Design Classes
For individuals who wish to study in the convenience of their Westfield NY homes, there are online accredited interior design degrees. Attending classes online can be a good solution for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended 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 programs are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Added expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased 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 schools may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Designer Programs
Once you have selected the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of reviewing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the school needs to be within driving distance from your Westfield NY residence. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will narrow down your choices also. But picking the most affordable school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other things that you need to consider as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a list of questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and ultimately select the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It’s necessary to make sure that the interior designer school and program that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are outstanding, it might also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Westfield NY employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. Therefore besides providing an outstanding education, the Westfield NY program you choose should also furnish the proper education to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for New York or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will probably need some support in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If yes, 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 trade and its graduates are in demand. It may also signify that the college has a sizable network of Westfield NY business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Westfield NY colleges you are looking at and ask what kind of assistance they provide. Many of interior design colleges provide financial assistance to their new students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide support in acquiring grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Westfield NY colleges you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Westfield home, visit the school and sit in on a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior designer program you enroll in provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Westfield NY, confirm that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Interior Design Certificate Programs Westfield NY
Selecting the right interior designer college is an important first step toward starting your career in this artistic and fulfilling occupation. Locating a college where you will receive your training and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a difficult job regardless of what major you have selected. As with any endeavor to attain a higher education, there are a number of factors to think about before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, confirm that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the field. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Interior Design Certificate Programs and wanted more info on the topic Schools With Interior Design Programs. However it is still imperative that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design programs so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Westfield NY.
Other New York Designer Locations
Westfield, New York
Westfield is a town in the western part Chautauqua County, New York, United States. The population was 4,896 at the 2010 census.Westfield is also the name of a village within the town, containing 65% of the town's population.
The area was first settled in 1802 by James McMahan, formerly of Northumberland County, Pennsylvania. McMahan established a mill near the mouth of Chautauqua Creek, where it empties into Lake Erie. The mill was later dismantled in advance of the War of 1812 to prevent it falling into the hands of the British. Today some of the millstones from McMahan's mill rest outside the Patterson Library in Westfield village.
The Barcelona Lighthouse was constructed in 1829 to overlook Barcelona Harbor and aided sailors on Lake Erie until being deactivated in 1859. It was the first lighthouse in the world to be powered by natural gas.