How to Choose the Right Interior Design Degree Program Marbury Alabama
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design college near Marbury AL, it's time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's essential that you get the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's essential that you carry out the proper research in order to analyze and compare each college that you are reviewing before you make your final choice. But where do you start? Some prospective students will begin their research by looking for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are important variables when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be considered 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 before we do, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class choices are available.
Interior Decoration vs Interior Design
Some people mistake interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The primary distinction between them is the amount of education required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. However, working as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in numerous 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 some projects they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad areas that an interior designer in Marbury AL can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any room of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public areas, designers frequently concentrate predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may focus 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, such as color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui principles, Marbury AL interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final creations.
Interior Design Training Programs
There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to receive the training needed to launch your new profession in Marbury AL. Your choice will undoubtedly be driven by your career objectives in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, be sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in a number of states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short 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 about 2 years to finish and programs are offered at many Alabama trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that deliver more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative facets of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced design training after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mostly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be needed before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Classes
For students who to attend classes in the convenience of their Marbury AL homes, there are online accredited interior design programs. Studying online can be a great solution for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. 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 commuting distance. And as an additional 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 be sure that the college you pick is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
After you have decided on the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of reviewing your college options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the college must be within driving distance from your Marbury AL residence. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will decrease your choices also. But choosing the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you should consider as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a list of questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are looking at to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you assess and subsequently select the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's necessary to confirm that the interior designer program and college that you select has earned accreditation from 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). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive assessment of their programs and teachers. 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 verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Marbury AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate 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, 2 or more years of work experience may be required also. So aside from furnishing an exceptional education, the Marbury AL school you enroll in should also provide the proper training to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some help in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its students are sought after. It might also indicate that the school has a substantial network of Marbury AL business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Marbury AL colleges you are looking at and ask what kind of aid they provide. A number of interior designer programs provide financial aid to their incoming students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships and others provide help in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Marbury AL colleges you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Marbury home, go to the school and attend a few classes. While there talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior design college you enroll in provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Marbury AL, make sure that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.
Choose the Ideal Marbury Interior Design School
Picking the ideal interior design school is a critical initial step toward launching your career in this creative and gratifying occupation. Finding a college where you will receive your training and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a difficult task no matter what field you have chosen. As with any undertaking to receive an advanced education, there are a number of factors to think about before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design college are both accredited and highly esteemed in the business. But it is still imperative that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest 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 right final selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Marbury AL.