Interior Designer Program
How to Enroll in the Best One Near Daphne Alabama
So it’s time to begin the task of choosing an interior design school near Daphne AL now that you have made a career decision to become an interior designer. It's important that you get the best available training to put your skills to work, even if you have always had a knack for designing commercial or residential interiors. And since several states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it's very important you perform the proper research in order to assess and compare each program that you are considering before you make your final choice. But just how do you undertake enrolling in the right school? When checking out interior design schools, many potential students begin by zeroing in on those that are closest to their homes with the cheapest tuition. But keep in mind, a school is not always the best option simply because it has the lowest tuition or is located closest to your home. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into account also. We will discuss those issues 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 cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training choices are available.
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Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Many people mistake interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The main distinction 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 areas. On the other hand, working as an interior designer requires a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or residential spaces attractive as well as functional. On many projects they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are two general areas that an interior designer in Daphne AL can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any room of the home, 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 areas, designers normally concentrate primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.
There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, including lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui principles, Daphne AL interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
Interior Design Degree Options
There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to receive the training necessary to begin your new career in Daphne AL. Your decision 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 regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in a number of states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum amount of education required to enter the profession. They take approximately two years to finish and programs are offered at numerous Alabama trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can usually obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that provide more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical facets of the business required 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 provide advanced training in design after achieving a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide alternatives in specialty majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are largely for those professionals who wish 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.
To work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be required before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.
Online Interior Design Colleges
For those who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Daphne AL homes, there are online accredited interior design schools. Attending classes online can be an excellent solution for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For a number of students online programs may be the only alternative if no interior design schools are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Additional costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated also. Just make sure that the program 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 acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the perfect option for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Design Colleges
When you have decided on the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the college has to be within driving distance from your Daphne 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 qualification. The cost of tuition will limit your choices as well. But selecting the cheapest college or the one that is closest to home are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other variables 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 address with the programs you are considering to get those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and subsequently select the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's necessary to make sure that the interior design program and school that you enroll in has been accredited by 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). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive assessment of their programs and instructors. Just confirm 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 outstanding, it might also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Daphne AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the School Prepare 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) examination as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States mandating licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from furnishing an excellent education, the Daphne AL college you choose should also provide the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill 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 received your interior design certification, you will probably want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It might also signify that the school has a sizable network of Daphne AL business connections where they can place students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Daphne AL colleges you are looking at and find out what type of aid they offer. A number of interior designer colleges provide financial aid to their new students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in obtaining grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Daphne AL programs you are considering what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Daphne home, go to the school and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior design college you enroll in provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Daphne AL, make sure that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Find Out More About How to Become an Interior Designer in Daphne
Choose the Best Daphne Interior Design School
Selecting the right interior design program is a critical first step toward starting your career in this artistic and fulfilling profession. Locating a school where you will receive your training and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a daunting task regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to acquire an advanced education, there are several factors to consider before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the field. It is still essential that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the right final selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Daphne Alabama.
Daphne Interior Design Degrees | Daphne How To Become An Interior Designer