How to Choose the Right Interior Designer College Phenix City 36867
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Phenix City AL, it’s time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors, it’s imperative that you obtain the appropriate training to put your skills to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it’s essential that you carry out the appropriate research in order to assess and compare each program that you are considering before you make your ultimate selection. But just where do you start? A number of prospective students will launch their research by looking for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are key factors when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into account also. We will address those topics and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But before we do, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class choices are offered.
Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Often people mistake interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The main difference between them is the level of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, conducting business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make living or work spaces attractive as well as functional. On some occasions they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Phenix City AL may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any room of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial areas, designers often focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary concern.
There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, for example color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. They must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Phenix City AL interior designers employ a wide range of skills that contribute to their final creations.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to get the training necessary to start your new career in Phenix City AL. Your decision will no doubt be motivated by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, be sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in a number of states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum amount of education required to enter the field. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are offered at a number of Alabama vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 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 job 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 offer alternatives 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 the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are primarily for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work professionally and use the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be needed before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.
Online Interior Design Colleges
For anyone wishing’ to study in the comfort of their Phenix City AL homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Studying online can be a great alternative for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For a number of students online programs may be the only option if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make sure that the school you pick is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the discipline to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the perfect alternative for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Schools
Once you have decided on the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of reviewing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the school has to be within commuting distance from your Phenix City AL home. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, 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 least expensive college or the one that is nearest to home are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other things that you need to look at also, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a few concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others to help you compare and subsequently choose the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It’s essential to make sure that the interior design program and school that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive assessment of their programs and instructors. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are outstanding, it may also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Phenix City AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do require that interior designers become 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 program. And in some of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from furnishing an outstanding education, the Phenix City AL college you enroll in should also provide the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill 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 attained your interior design certification, you will probably need some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It could also indicate that the school has a substantial network of Phenix City AL business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Phenix City AL colleges you are looking at and ask what kind of assistance they offer. A number of interior design colleges offer financial aid to their incoming students. Various schools provide partial scholarships and others provide support in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Phenix City AL schools you are considering what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Phenix City home, go to the campus and sit in on a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior designer school you choose provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Phenix City AL, confirm that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in an Interior Design School near Phenix City AL?
Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the Phenix City Alabama area. If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.
Phenix City, Alabama
Phenix City lies immediately west across the Chattahoochee River from much larger Columbus, Georgia. Sometimes called Hub City, Most of Phenix City is included in the Columbus Metropolitan Statistical Area, but a section is located in Lee County, and is therefore in the Auburn, Alabama Metropolitan Statistical Area. The entire city is part of the Columbus-Auburn-Opelika Combined Statistical Area.
Phenix City is located at 32°28′22″N 85°1′12″W / 32.47278°N 85.02000°W / 32.47278; -85.02000 (32.472822, -85.020121). It is the easternmost settlement in the state of Alabama as well as the Central Time Zone, but it and some other nearby areas unofficially observe Eastern Time, as these areas are part of the metropolitan area of the considerably larger city of Columbus, Georgia, which is in the Eastern Time Zone.
The climate in this area is characterized by relatively high temperatures and evenly distributed precipitation throughout the year. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Phenix City has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.
Select the Best Interior Design School near Phenix City AL
Picking the right interior designer school is a critical initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and gratifying profession. Finding a school where you will receive your education and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a challenging job regardless of what field you have selected. As with any endeavor to receive a higher education, there are many points to think about before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the field. You originally came upon this website because you had an initial interest in Colleges With Interior Design Majors. However it is still essential that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design programs so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Phenix City AL.
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