How to Enroll in the Right Interior Designer Course Marbury Alabama
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near Marbury 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 interiors, it's essential that you receive the proper training to put your talents to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it's essential that you do the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each college that you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection. But just where do you start? Some prospective students will launch their research by looking for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are key issues when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into account as well. We will address those issues and other crucial questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But before we do, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class options are available.
Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration
Some people confuse interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The principal difference between the two is the amount of education 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 Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or residential spaces functional as well as attractive. On some projects they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are two broad categories that an interior designer in Marbury AL may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any room of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial areas, designers often concentrate predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. As an 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 numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, including color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. They must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui principles, Marbury AL interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final designs.
Interior Design Degree Options
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to get the training necessary to launch your new profession in Marbury AL. Your choice will no doubt be motivated by your career objectives 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, make sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in some states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum amount of training required to enter the field. They take about 2 years to finish and programs are available at numerous Alabama vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that provide more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative components of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced design training after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives in specialized 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. Doctoral degrees are mostly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be required before a candidate can take the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Classes
For individuals who wish to study in the convenience of their Marbury AL homes, there are online accredited interior design programs. Studying online can be a great alternative for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For a number of students online schools may be the only alternative if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make sure that the program you choose is accredited by a respected accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also earn 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 environment, then an online interior design college may be the ideal alternative for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Schools
Once you have decided on the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of evaluating your college options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the college must be within commuting distance from your Marbury AL home. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will decrease your choices also. But choosing the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you should consider as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Below are a few concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are considering to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and ultimately choose the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's necessary to make sure that the interior designer college and program that you enroll in has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive assessment of their teachers and programs. 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 confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are excellent, it might also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Marbury AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States mandating licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required also. So in addition to providing an exceptional education, the Marbury AL school you select should also furnish the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will probably need some support in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its students are sought after. It may also indicate that the college has a sizable network of Marbury AL business connections where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial aid departments for the Marbury AL colleges you are evaluating and find out what type of aid they offer. A number of interior design colleges provide financial assistance to their new students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in securing federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Marbury AL programs you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Marbury home, visit the school and sit in on a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior designer college you select provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Marbury AL, confirm that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Choose the Best Marbury Interior Design College
Selecting the right interior design college is an important initial step toward starting your career in this creative and gratifying profession. Finding a school where you will obtain your education and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a challenging job regardless of what field you have chosen. As with any endeavor to receive a higher education, there are several factors to consider before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, check that the design college and program are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. But it is still imperative that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations presented 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 reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Marbury AL.