Interior Designer Course
How to Choose the Best One Near Daphne Alabama
So it’s time to begin the process of choosing an interior design school near Daphne AL now that you have made a career decision to study to be an interior designer. It's imperative that you get the best available training to develop your skills, even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential interiors. And since a number of states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So in order to evaluate and compare each school you are reviewing prior to making your final selection it's essential that you carry out the appropriate due diligence. But just how do you approach finding the right program? A number of potential students will launch their research by looking for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are key factors when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. There are several other factors that you should weigh when reviewing schools, for example reputation and accreditation. We will discuss those issues and other vital 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 training alternatives are available.
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Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Often people confuse interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The main distinction between them is the amount of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent 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 taught to make work or residential spaces functional as well as attractive. On various occasions they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are two broad areas that an interior designer in Daphne AL may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area 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 dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers frequently concentrate primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.
There are numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. 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 including Feng shui principles, Daphne AL interior designers employ a wide range of skills that help bring about their final creations.
Interior Design Degree Options
There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to acquire the training needed to launch your new profession in Daphne AL. Your decision will undoubtedly be influenced by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make certain to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in a number of states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum level of training required to enter the profession. They take roughly 2 years to finish and programs are offered 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 four year programs that supply more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative facets of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum 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 provide advanced training in design after acquiring the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are largely for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are normally completed in three to five years.
In order 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 needed before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Colleges
For students who to study in the convenience of their Daphne AL homes, there are online accredited interior design programs. Studying online can be a good alternative for those students that are employed 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 many students online programs 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 commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated also. Just make sure that the college you select is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the dedication to obtain your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Design Colleges
Now that you have selected the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the task of assessing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the campus needs to be within commuting distance from your Daphne AL residence. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will decrease your choices also. But choosing the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you need to look at as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a few questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others to help you compare and subsequently pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's important to make sure that the interior design program and school that you choose has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive assessment of their teachers and programs. Just verify 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 school and the quality of the training are exceptional, it might also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Daphne AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required as well. So besides furnishing an excellent education, the Daphne AL program you choose should also furnish the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will probably need some help in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It could also indicate that the school has a substantial network of Daphne AL business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Daphne AL schools you are evaluating and ask what type of assistance they offer. Many of interior design programs offer financial aid to their incoming students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide help in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Daphne AL schools you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Daphne home, go to the school and sit in on 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 backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior designer school you select provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Daphne AL, verify that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Choose the Right Daphne Interior Design College
Selecting the right interior design school is a critical initial step toward launching your career in this creative and gratifying profession. Finding a school where you will receive your training and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a challenging task regardless of what major you have decided on. As with any undertaking to acquire a higher education, there are a number of things to consider before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the business. It is still imperative that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design programs so that you can make the right final selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Daphne Alabama.