How to Choose the Right Interior Design Course Wetumpka 36092
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design school near Wetumpka AL, it’s time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial spaces, it’s imperative that you receive the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it’s crucial that you carry out the appropriate research in order to evaluate and compare each college that you are reviewing before you make your final decision. But exactly where do you start? A number of prospective students will kick off their research by looking for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are important variables when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation must be taken into account as well. We will discuss those topics and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are reviewing 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 options are offered.
Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration
Many people confuse interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The key difference between the two is the level of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or residential areas attractive as well as functional. On many projects they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are two broad categories that an interior designer in Wetumpka 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, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial areas, designers frequently concentrate predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might concentrate more on functionality over looks as the main concern.
There are several 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 read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui concepts, Wetumpka AL interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
Interior Design Training Programs
There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to obtain the training required to start your new career in Wetumpka AL. Your selection will undoubtedly be influenced by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, make sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in several states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum amount of training required to enter the field. They take about 2 years to complete and programs are available at many Alabama community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that provide more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical components of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level job 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 provide choices in specialized majors in general areas such 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 primarily 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 three to five years.
To work professionally and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, many states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be required before an applicant can take the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Schools
For students who to study in the convenience of their Wetumpka AL homes, there are accredited online interior design degrees. Studying online can be an excellent option for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For a number of students online programs 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 expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the school you pick is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Design Colleges
Now that you have decided on the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of assessing your school options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the campus must be within driving distance from your Wetumpka AL home. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will decrease your choices as well. But picking the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you need to consider also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a few questions that you may want to address with the schools you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and subsequently choose the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It’s necessary to confirm that the interior designer school and program that you enroll in has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding assessment of their programs and instructors. Just verify 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 verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are excellent, it may also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Wetumpka AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States requiring licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required also. So aside from providing an excellent education, the Wetumpka AL school you select should also furnish the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will no doubt need some help in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It could also indicate that the college has a large network of Wetumpka AL business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial aid offices for the Wetumpka AL schools you are looking at and ask what kind of support they provide. A number of interior designer schools offer financial aid to their new students. Some schools provide partial scholarships and others provide support in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Wetumpka AL schools you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Wetumpka home, visit the college and monitor a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and ask 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? Last, make certain that the interior design program you select provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Wetumpka AL, confirm that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Enrolling in an Interior Design School near Wetumpka AL?
Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the Wetumpka Alabama area. If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.
Wetumpka is a city in and the county seat of Elmore County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 6,528. In the early 21st century, Elmore County, long a rural area, became one of the fastest-growing counties in the state. The city is considered part of the Montgomery Metropolitan Area.
Wetumpka identifies as "The City of Natural Beauty". Among the notable landmarks are the Wetumpka crater and the Jasmine Hill Gardens, with a full-sized replica of the Temple of Hera of Olympia, Greece. Historic downtown Wetumpka developed on both sides of the Coosa River. It was near Fort Toulouse, built by French colonists in 1717, when they had claimed this territory for the king.
The word Wetumpka is derived from the Muscogee language (Creek) phrase we-wau tum-cau. The name Wetumpka is a historic Creek place word meaning "rumbling waters", believed to be a description of the sound of the nearby Coosa River at the rapids of the Devil's Staircase. The roar of the rapids reportedly could be heard for miles before the construction in the 20th century of Walter Bouldin Dam and Jordan Dam, when the river was captured as a reservoir behind the dam.
Select the Ideal Interior Design School near Wetumpka AL
Choosing the right interior designer college is a critical initial step toward launching your career in this creative and rewarding profession. Finding a school where you will obtain your training and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a challenging task no matter what major you have decided on. As with any undertaking to attain an advanced education, there are a number of things to think about before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the design college and program are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. You originally came upon this website because you had an initial interest in Going To School For Interior Design. But it is still imperative that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design programs so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Wetumpka AL.
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