How to Pick an Interior Design Program Mexia 36458
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer college near Mexia AL, it’s time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential spaces, it’s imperative that you get the proper training to put your skills to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s crucial that you do the proper research so that you can evaluate and compare each school that you are looking at prior to making your final decision. But just where do you begin? Some future students will begin their research by searching for schools near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are relevant issues when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation must be taken into consideration as well. We will address those issues and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But before we do, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training options are available.
Interior Decoration vs Interior Design
Often people mistake interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The main distinction between the two is the level of training required. Any person can work in Mexia AL as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. However, conducting business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make living or work areas functional as well as attractive. On various projects they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are two broad categories that an interior designer can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction in Alabama. They can design essentially any area of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public areas, designers normally focus predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over looks as the main concern.
There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a Mexia designer must learn, for example color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui concepts, interior designers employ a wide range of skills that contribute to their final creations.
Interior Designer Training Programs
There are four degree options offered in interior design to receive the training necessary to launch your new profession. Your selection will no doubt be motivated by your career objectives in Mexia as well as the time and money that you have to devote to 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 take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in a number of states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply 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 trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level positions in Mexia as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical facets of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level job in Alabama as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced design training after attaining a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide alternatives in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mainly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree 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 require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be required before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.
Interior Designer Online Colleges
For students who to attend classes in the comfort of their Mexia homes, there are online accredited interior design colleges. Attending classes online can be an excellent solution for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For a number of students online programs may be the only alternative if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper 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 program 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 receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the dedication to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the right alternative for you.
What to Ask Interior Design Schools
After you have selected the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of evaluating your college options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the college has to be within commuting distance from your Mexia residence. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will decrease your options also. But choosing the cheapest college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you should look at as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a few concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are considering to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you assess and ultimately select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It’s imperative to confirm that the interior design program and school that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just confirm 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 training are excellent, it may also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Mexia employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several states do mandate that interior designers become 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 college. And in several of those states requiring licensing, at least 2 years of occupational experience may be required also. So besides furnishing an exceptional education, the college you choose should also furnish the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the state where you will be employed.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some assistance in finding your first job in Mexia. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It could also indicate that the school has a substantial network of business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial aid offices for the colleges you are reviewing and find out what kind of support they provide in 36458. Many of Alabama interior designer colleges provide financial assistance to their new students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide help in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the programs you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Mexia home, go to the campus and sit in on a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior design college you select provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Mexia, make certain that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Enroll in the Right Interior Design Degree Program Mexia ALSelecting the right interior designer school is an important initial step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding occupation. Locating a school where you will receive your education and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a difficult job no matter what field you have decided on. As with any undertaking to acquire a higher education, there are several things to consider before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, make sure that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the business. But it is still imperative that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare colleges so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer.