How to Find an Interior Designer College Greenville 36037
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near Greenville 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 interiors, it’s imperative that you obtain the appropriate training to put your skills to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it’s very important that you perform the appropriate research so that you can evaluate and compare each school that you are reviewing prior to making your final choice. But where do you begin? Many future students will kick off their research by looking for colleges near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are key factors when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into account also. We will address those topics and other crucial questions that you must ask 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 training alternatives are available.
Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Many people confuse interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The primary difference between them is the level of training required. Any person can work in Greenville AL as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, working as an interior designer requires formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or residential areas attractive as well as functional. On many projects they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are two broad categories that an interior designer can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction in Alabama. They can design essentially any room of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers frequently concentrate predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of 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 main consideration.
There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a Greenville designer must learn, including lighting, color shemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui principles, interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
Interior Design Degree Options
There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to receive the training necessary to start your new profession. Your choice will no doubt be influenced by your career goals in Greenville in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, be sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in some states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum level of training needed to enter the field. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are available at many vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level jobs in Greenville as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that deliver 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 lowest degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level position in Alabama as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced training in design after acquiring the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer choices in specialized majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are primarily for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are usually completed in three to five years.
In order to work professionally and use the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be required before a candidate can take the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Schools
For those who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their Greenville homes, there are online accredited interior design degrees. Attending classes online can be a great option for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. 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 driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated also. Just make sure that the school you select is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Programs
Now that you have decided on the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of evaluating your school options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the college must be within commuting distance from your Greenville residence. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will narrow down your options also. But picking the cheapest college 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 look at also, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a few questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and subsequently select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It’s important to confirm that the interior design college and program that you choose has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment of their programs and instructors. Just confirm 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 establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are excellent, it may also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Greenville employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several states do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those states mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. So in addition to furnishing an outstanding education, the school you enroll in should also furnish the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the state where you will be employed.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will probably need some assistance in finding your first job in Greenville. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask 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 signify that the school has a sizable network of business connections where they can place students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Available? Contact the financial aid offices for the colleges you are looking at and ask what kind of aid they provide in 36037. Many of Alabama interior designer colleges offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the colleges you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Greenville home, visit the college and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior design school you enroll in provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Greenville, make certain that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Pick the Ideal Interior Designer Certification Training Greenville ALPicking the ideal interior design school is a crucial first step toward launching your career in this creative and gratifying occupation. Locating a school where you will receive your training and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a difficult task no matter what major you have decided on. As with any undertaking to recieve an advanced education, there are several things to think about before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the business. But it is still important that you carry out 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 schools so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with quality training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer.