How to Pick the Right Interior Designer Course Camden Alabama
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design college near Camden AL, it's time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's essential that you receive the appropriate training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it's essential that you perform the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each school that you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision. But just where do you start? Some potential students will kick off their research by searching for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are important factors when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into account as well. We will cover those issues and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But before we do, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training options are offered.
Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Often people mistake interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The main difference between the two is the level of training required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. However, working 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 taught to make work or living areas attractive as well as functional. On various projects they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are two broad categories that an interior designer in Camden AL can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with public or commercial areas, designers normally focus predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.
There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Camden AL interior designers employ a wide range of skills that help bring about their final creations.
Interior Designer Degrees
There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to acquire the training needed to begin your new profession in Camden AL. Your selection will undoubtedly be influenced by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt 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) examination mandated in some states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum level of training needed to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to complete and programs are available at many Alabama community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can normally obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that supply more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical facets of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree 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 achieving the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer options in specialty majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to improve 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 vary in length but are normally completed in three to five years.
In order to work as a professional and adopt 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 professional experience may be needed before a candidate can take the licensing exam.
Online Interior Designer Classes
For anyone wishing' to study in the convenience of their Camden AL homes, there are online accredited interior design degrees. Attending classes online can be an excellent alternative for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For some students online colleges may be the only alternative if no interior design schools are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Additional costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated also. Just make certain that the program you pick 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 online or distance learning. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the right alternative for you.
What to Ask Interior Designer Schools
When you have decided on the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the task of analyzing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the campus has to be within driving distance from your Camden AL residence. Of course 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 narrow down your choices as well. But picking the most affordable college or the one that is closest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you need to consider also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a few questions that you may want to ask the programs you are looking at to get those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and subsequently choose the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's essential to verify that the interior design program and college that you choose 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 programs and teachers. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. 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 obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Camden AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some 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 school. And in some of those States calling for licensing, at least 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. So besides furnishing an excellent education, the Camden AL college you enroll in should also provide the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will probably want some support in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It might also indicate that the college has a substantial network of Camden AL business connections where they can place students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial aid departments for the Camden AL schools you are reviewing and ask what type of aid they provide. Many of interior design schools provide financial aid to their incoming students. Various schools provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Camden AL schools you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Camden home, visit the college and monitor a couple of classes. While there speak with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior designer program you enroll in offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Camden AL, verify that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.
Pick the Best Camden Interior Design College
Choosing the ideal interior design college is an important initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and gratifying profession. Locating a school where you will obtain your education and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult task regardless of what major you have selected. As with any endeavor to receive an advanced education, there are a number of points to think about before choosing a school, program, or course. At a minimum, verify that the program and design college are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. But it is still important that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Camden AL.