Interior Designer Course
How to Enroll in the Right One Near Opelika Alabama
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near Opelika AL, it's time to begin the process of selecting a school. It's imperative that you get the appropriate training to develop your skills, even if you have always had a knack for designing commercial or residential interiors. And since some states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's crucial you carry out the proper research in order to analyze and compare each college that you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision. But where do you start? When checking out interior design schools, many potential students start by targeting those that are closest to their homes with the cheapest tuition. However, a school is not always the right option simply because it has the lowest tuition or is located closest to your home. There are a number of other considerations that you should weigh when reviewing schools, such as accreditation and reputation. We will discuss those topics and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class alternatives are available.
IT TAKES JUST A FEW MINUTES TO START YOUR INTERIOR DESIGN CAREER BELOW!
Interior Design Compared to Interior Decoration
Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The principal distinction between the two is the amount of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make living or work spaces attractive as well as functional. On various occasions they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Opelika 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, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers often 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 emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.
There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, for example 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 selecting carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Opelika AL interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
Interior Designer Degrees
There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to receive the training needed to start your new profession in Opelika AL. Your selection will undoubtedly be motivated by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in a number of states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum level of education required to enter the profession. They take about two years to finish and programs are offered at a number of Alabama community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that provide more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative components of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced training in design after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide alternatives in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are primarily for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are generally completed in three to five years.
To work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be needed before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Degree Programs
For anyone wishing' to attend classes in the comfort of their Opelika AL homes, there are online accredited interior design degrees. Attending classes online can be an excellent option for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For a number of students online schools may be the only option if no interior design schools are within driving 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 reduced or eliminated also. Just make sure that the college you enroll in is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also receive 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 setting, then an online interior design school may be the right alternative for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Design Schools
Now that you have chosen the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of reviewing your school options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the college must be within driving distance from your Opelika AL home. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But choosing the cheapest school or the one that is closest to your house are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you should consider as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a few concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are looking at to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and subsequently pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's essential to confirm that the interior designer college and program that you enroll in has been accredited by either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous evaluation of their programs and teachers. Just confirm that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Opelika AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States requiring licensing, a minimum of 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. So in addition to providing an exceptional education, the Opelika AL school you select should also provide the proper training to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It could also indicate that the college has a substantial network of Opelika AL business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Opelika AL colleges you are reviewing and ask what type of support they offer. A number of interior designer schools offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Various schools provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Opelika AL programs you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Opelika home, visit the campus and sit in on a couple of classes. While there talk with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior design college you enroll in provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Opelika AL, verify that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Learn More About Becoming an Interior Designer in Opelika
Enroll in the Right Opelika Interior Design School
Choosing the ideal interior designer school is a crucial initial step toward launching your career in this creative and fulfilling profession. Searching for a school where you will obtain your training and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult job no matter what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to acquire an advanced education, there are several things to consider before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. It is still essential that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design schools so that you can make the right final selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Opelika Alabama.
Opelika Interior Design Degrees Online | Opelika Interior Design Schools Online