How to Find the Best Interior Designer Degree Program near Camden Alabama
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer college near Camden AL, it’s time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential spaces, it’s important that you receive the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do require that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s crucial that you do the appropriate research in order to evaluate and compare each school that you are looking at before you make your final selection. But just where do you start? A number of prospective students will start their research by searching for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are important issues when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation need to be taken into account also. We will address those issues and other crucial questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But first, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class alternatives are offered.
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Interior Decoration and Interior Design
Some people confuse interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The main difference between them is the level of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. However, doing business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or living spaces functional as well as attractive. On many projects they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Camden AL can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any room of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers normally focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may focus more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.
There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui principles, Camden AL interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
Interior Design Training Programs
There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to acquire the training needed to launch your new career in Camden AL. Your decision will undoubtedly be driven by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have 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 mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in a number of states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum amount of education required to enter the field. They take approximately 2 years to complete and programs are offered at a number of Alabama trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can normally obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that supply more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical facets of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain 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 alternatives in specialty majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are mostly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are generally completed in three to five years.
To work as a professional and use the title of “Interior Designer”, many states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be called for before an applicant can take the licensing exam.
Interior Designer Online Colleges
For those who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Camden AL homes, there are online accredited interior design schools. Attending classes online can be an excellent option for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For some students online schools may be the only alternative if no interior design programs are within commuting 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 reduced or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the program you select is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the dedication to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the right alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Design Programs
After you have chosen the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of analyzing your school options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the college has to be within commuting distance from your Camden AL home. Naturally 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 cost of tuition will limit your choices also. But choosing the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you should look at also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a few concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are looking at to get those answers as well as others to help you examine and ultimately pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It’s imperative to make sure that the interior design program and school that you select has been accredited by 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). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment of their programs and teachers. Just make sure that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Camden AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
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) exam as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of occupational experience may be required also. So aside from furnishing an exceptional education, the Camden AL program you choose should also provide the proper training to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some help in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design field and its students are sought after. It may also indicate that the college has a significant network of Camden AL business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Camden AL schools you are evaluating and find out what type of assistance they offer. Many of interior designer colleges offer financial assistance to their new students. Some schools provide partial scholarships and others provide help in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Camden AL programs you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Camden home, visit the campus 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 approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior designer college you enroll in provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Camden AL, make certain that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.
Interior Design Schools Camden AL
Selecting the ideal interior design college is an important first step toward launching your career in this creative and gratifying occupation. Locating a college where you will receive your education and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a daunting task regardless of what major you have selected. As with any endeavor to receive an advanced education, there are a number of things to consider before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Interior Design Schools and wanted more info on the topic Good Interior Design Schools. However it is still important that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design programs so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Camden AL.
Other Alabama Designer Locations
What is now Camden was established on property donated by Thomas Dunn from his plantation holdings in order to have a new town founded on the site in 1833 to serve as the county seat. Dunn's Federal style house, built in 1825, is the oldest documented house in the town. The first county seat was in the community of Canton Bend.
The county seat was moved in 1833 to Barboursville, later renamed Camden. It had been named Barboursville in honor of United States Congressman Philip Barbour of Virginia. Incorporated in 1841, Camden was renamed by local physician John D. Caldwell in honor of his hometown of Camden, South Carolina.
The area depended on cultivation of cotton as a commodity crop, which was worked by numerous African-American slaves. The earliest documented industries in the town were a brickyard, sawmill, and window fabricator. The Camden Phenix was the town's earliest known newspaper. Townspeople founded a girls' school in 1844, the Wilcox Female Seminary and Female Institute, whose red-brick Greek-Revival style building was constructed from 1845–50. In 1976 the former school was adapted to house the Wilcox County Historical Society.