Interior Designer Course
How to Enroll in the Best One Near Selma Alabama
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design school near Selma AL, it's time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's essential that you get the proper training to put your talents to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So in order to evaluate and compare each program you are looking at prior to making your final choice it's crucial that you do the appropriate due diligence. But just how do you undertake enrolling in the right program? When checking out interior design programs, the majority of students begin by zeroing in on the ones that are closest to their homes with the lowest tuition. While location and cost are important variables when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation must be considered also. We will discuss those topics and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class alternatives are offered.
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Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Many people mistake interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The principal difference between the two is the level 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, working as an interior designer requires formal training and in numerous 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 many projects they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad areas that an interior designer in Selma AL can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any room of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers frequently concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may focus more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.
There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, such as lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers have 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 concepts, Selma AL interior designers employ a wide range of skills that help bring about their final creations.
Interior Design Degree Programs
There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to get the training necessary to begin your new profession in Selma AL. Your choice will undoubtedly be motivated by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in a number of states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum level of training needed to enter the field. They take about 2 years to finish and programs are offered at a number of Alabama vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that supply more in depth 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 credential needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These two year programs supply advanced training in design after acquiring the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialized majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mostly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university 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", a number of states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be needed before a candidate can take the licensing examination.
Online Interior Designer Classes
For anyone wishing' to study in the comfort of their Selma AL homes, there are online accredited interior design schools. Attending classes online can be a great solution for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For a number of students online programs may be the sole alternative if no interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Additional costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated also. Just be sure that the college you choose is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, 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 online or distance learning. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the perfect alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
After you have selected the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of analyzing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the school has to be within driving distance from your Selma AL residence. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will narrow down your options also. But picking the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you should look at as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others to help you compare and subsequently select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's essential to verify that the interior design program and school that you enroll in has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment of their programs and teachers. Just verify that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Selma AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do mandate 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 requiring licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required also. So aside from furnishing an outstanding education, the Selma AL college you enroll in should also provide the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It might also indicate that the school has a substantial network of Selma AL business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Selma AL colleges you are reviewing and find out what type of aid they provide. A number of interior design colleges offer financial aid to their new students. Various schools offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in securing federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Selma AL programs you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Selma home, visit the college and attend a couple of classes. While there speak with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior design college you choose provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Selma AL, make certain that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Enroll in the Best Selma Interior Design College
Choosing the ideal interior design school is a crucial initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and fulfilling profession. Searching for a college where you will obtain your training and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a difficult job no matter what major you have chosen. As with any undertaking to acquire an advanced education, there are many things to consider before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, confirm that the design college and program are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. It is still imperative that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design schools so that you can make the right final selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Selma Alabama.