How to Find the Right Interior Design School Saginaw 35137
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design degree program near Saginaw AL, it’s time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial interiors, it’s imperative that you obtain the appropriate training to put your skills to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it’s essential that you perform the appropriate research in order to analyze and compare each college that you are reviewing before you make your ultimate choice. But exactly where do you begin? Some potential students will start their research by searching for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are important issues when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation should be considered as well. We will address those topics and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are offered.
Interior Decoration and Interior Design
Many people confuse interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The principal difference between them is the amount of education required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. However, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or living spaces functional as well as attractive. On some occasions they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Saginaw AL may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers frequently concentrate predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals 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, such as color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. They have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui concepts, Saginaw AL interior designers implement a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to receive the training needed to launch your new profession in Saginaw AL. Your decision will no doubt be motivated by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in some states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum level of education required to enter the field. They take roughly two years to complete and programs are available at a number of Alabama trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can normally 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 components of the business required to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced training in design after attaining a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer choices in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees 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 generally completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work professionally and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, many states require 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 exam.
Online Interior Design Colleges
For students who to study in the comfort of their Saginaw AL homes, there are online accredited 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 problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For some students online programs may be the sole 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. Additional expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the college you select is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance 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 ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Design Colleges
After you have selected the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of analyzing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the college needs to be within commuting distance from your Saginaw AL residence. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will decrease your options as well. But choosing the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other things that you should look at also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a few concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are reviewing to get those answers in addition to others to help you examine and ultimately select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It’s imperative to make sure that the interior designer program and college that you choose has been accredited by either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment of their programs and teachers. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are outstanding, it might also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Saginaw AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States mandating licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required also. So in addition to providing an excellent education, the Saginaw AL college you choose should also provide the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It could also signify that the school has a sizable network of Saginaw AL business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Saginaw AL colleges you are reviewing and find out what type of assistance they provide. A number of interior design schools offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide help in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Saginaw AL schools you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Saginaw home, visit the school and sit in on a couple of classes. While there talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior design college you choose provides classes the fit your busy 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 Saginaw AL, make certain that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.
Enrolling in an Interior Design School near Saginaw AL?
Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the Saginaw Alabama area. If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.
Saginaw is an unincorporated community 2.5 miles north of Calera in Shelby County, Alabama, United States with zip code 35137. It is part of the Birmingham-Hoover-Cullman Combined Statistical Area. It is located southeast of Alabaster on the east side of Interstate 65 at the intersection of State Route 70 and U.S. Route 31.
Saginaw is the home of the Saginaw Pipe Company, Inc., a major supplier of steel pipe, beams, tubing, and plate. The Dravo Lime Company quarry in Saginaw was honored for their outstanding safety record in the annual Sentinels of Safety awards program co-sponsored by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) and the National Mining Association (NMA) in 1997 and 1999.
The U.S. Census bureau does not keep separate statistics for Saginaw. As of the census of 2000, for Block Group 2, Census Tract 306.09, Shelby County, Alabama, which is the census block group that includes the center of Saginaw, the total population was 1,684 people, with a racial makeup of 97.1% white, 2.2% black, and 0.7% mixed or other races.
Pick the Ideal Interior Design School near Saginaw AL
Choosing the right interior designer school is a critical first step toward starting your career in this creative and fulfilling profession. Locating a college where you will receive your training and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult job regardless of what major you have selected. As with any endeavor to acquire an advanced education, there are many points to think about before choosing a course, program 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 Good Colleges For Interior Design. However it is still essential that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design schools so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with quality training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Saginaw AL.
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