How to Select the Right Interior Design School Marion 36756
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer school near Marion AL, it’s time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial spaces, it’s imperative that you receive the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do require 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 that you perform the proper research so that you can analyze and compare each program that you are reviewing prior to making your final choice. But just where do you start? Many prospective students will launch their research by looking for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are important factors when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into account as well. We will address those issues and other important questions that you should be asking 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 options are available.
Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Many people confuse interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The principal difference between them is the amount of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. However, doing business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make living or work spaces functional as well as attractive. On various projects they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Marion AL can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently 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 example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers frequently focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For example, 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 appearance as the primary concern.
There are numerous 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 picking carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui principles, Marion AL interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
Interior Designer Degrees
There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to receive the training needed to start your new career in Marion AL. Your selection will no doubt be motivated by your career objectives in addition to the money and time that you have 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 mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in several states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum level of training required to enter the profession. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are offered at a number of Alabama vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that supply more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical facets of the business needed to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced design training after acquiring the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer alternatives in specialty 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 their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are largely for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work professionally and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states require that graduates of accredited degree programs 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 Designer Classes
For individuals who wish to study in the convenience of their Marion AL homes, there are accredited online interior design colleges. Attending classes online can be a good option for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For a number of students online colleges may be the sole option if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated also. Just be sure that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, 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 online or distance learning. If you have the dedication to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the perfect alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Designer Schools
Now that you have decided on the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of assessing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the campus needs to be within driving distance from your Marion AL home. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will decrease your choices as well. But choosing the cheapest school or the one that is closest to home are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you need to consider as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a few questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are considering to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and ultimately pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It’s imperative to confirm that the interior design program and college that you select has earned accreditation from 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). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous evaluation 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 confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Marion AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do require that interior designers get 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 program. And in some of those States mandating licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required also. Therefore in addition to providing an outstanding education, the Marion AL college you enroll in should also furnish the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will no doubt need some help in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high 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 sought after. It could also signify that the school has a significant network of Marion AL business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Marion AL colleges you are reviewing and ask what kind of aid they provide. Many of interior design colleges provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide assistance in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Marion AL schools you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Marion home, visit the school and monitor a few classes. While there talk 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 Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior designer program you enroll in offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Marion AL, make certain that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.
Enrolling in an Interior Design School near Marion AL?
Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the Marion Alabama area. If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.
Marion is a city in, and the county seat of, Perry County, Alabama, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city is 3,686, up 4.8% over 2000. First known as Muckle Ridge, the city was renamed after a hero of the American Revolution, Francis Marion.
Formerly the territory of the Creek Indians, it was founded shortly after 1819 as Muckle Ridge. The city was renamed in honor of Francis Marion, the "Swamp Fox," hero of the American Revolutionary War, in 1822. It incorporated as a town the same year and also became the second county seat after the hamlet of Perry Ridge was unsuitable. In 1829, it upgraded from a town to a city. From the very early days, Marion created considerable history for a small town on the western frontier of Alabama. The old City Hall (1832) is but one of many antebellum public buildings, churches, and homes in the city today.
At the 1844 meeting of the Alabama Baptist State Convention in Marion, the "Alabama Resolutions" were passed. This was one of the factors that led to the 1845 formation of the Southern Baptist Convention in Augusta, Georgia.
Choose the Right Interior Design School near Marion AL
Choosing the ideal interior design school is a crucial first step toward starting your career in this artistic and fulfilling profession. Locating a college where you will obtain your training and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a difficult job no matter what major you have decided on. As with any undertaking to attain an advanced education, there are many 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 respected in the business. You originally came upon this website because you had an initial interest in Graduation In Interior Designing. However it is still essential that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design schools so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Marion AL.
More Designer Locations in Alabama