How to Pick the Best Interior Design School near Marion Junction Alabama
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design degree program near Marion Junction AL, it’s time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial spaces, it’s imperative that you receive the proper training to put your skills to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s essential that you carry out the proper research in order to assess and compare each school that you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision. But just where do you start? Many potential students will begin their research by searching for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are relevant issues when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation must be taken into consideration also. We will address those topics and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But first, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are offered.
Start Your Interior Design Career By Requesting Free Info on Local Schools Below
Interior Decoration vs Interior Design
Often people confuse interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The key difference between them is the level of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they possess 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 spaces functional as well as attractive. On many occasions they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Marion Junction AL can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers often concentrate predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over appearance as the main consideration.
There are numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, including color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Marion Junction AL interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final designs.
Interior Design Degree Programs
There are four degree options available in interior design to receive the training necessary to start your new profession in Marion Junction AL. Your choice will no doubt be influenced by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, make sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in some states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum level of training needed to enter the field. They take about two years to finish and programs are offered at many Alabama community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that supply more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical facets of the trade required 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 training in design after achieving a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer alternatives in specialty majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are primarily for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary in length but are typically completed in three to five years.
To work professionally and use the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be called for before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.
Online Interior Design Degree Programs
For individuals who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their Marion Junction AL homes, there are online accredited interior design schools. Studying online can be a great solution for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For some students online colleges may be the sole alternative if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Added expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated also. Just make certain that the school you choose is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the ideal alternative for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Design Programs
Now that you have decided on the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of analyzing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your Marion Junction AL residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will limit your choices also. But choosing the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you should look at as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a few questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are looking at 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 essential to make sure that the interior designer program and college that you select 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 undergone a demanding assessment of their instructors and programs. Just make sure 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 school and the quality of the training are exceptional, it might also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Marion Junction AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several 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 college. And in some of those States calling for licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore in addition to providing an exceptional education, the Marion Junction AL school you select should also furnish the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design field and its graduates are in demand. It might also indicate that the college has a sizable network of Marion Junction AL business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial aid departments for the Marion Junction AL colleges you are looking at and ask what type of aid they offer. Many of interior design programs provide financial assistance to their new students. Various schools provide partial scholarships and others provide help in acquiring federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Marion Junction AL programs you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Marion Junction home, go to the campus and attend a couple of 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 Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior designer program you select provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Marion Junction AL, verify that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Diploma Interior Design Courses Marion Junction AL
Choosing the ideal interior design college is a crucial first step toward launching your career in this creative and fulfilling occupation. Locating a school where you will receive your training and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a difficult task no matter what major you have decided on. As with any undertaking to acquire a higher education, there are several points to think about before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Diploma Interior Design Courses and wanted more info on the topic Major In Interior Design. But it is still imperative that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design programs so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Marion Junction AL.
Other Alabama Designer Locations