How to Find the Right Interior Design Course near Daleville Alabama
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design degree program near Daleville AL, it's time to begin the process of choosing 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 natural abilities to work. And since several states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it's very important that you perform the appropriate research in order to evaluate and compare each college that you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision. But exactly where do you start? Many prospective students will launch their research by searching for interior design courses near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are important issues when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into consideration as well. We will cover those topics and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class alternatives are available.
Interior Decoration vs Interior Design
Often people confuse interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The primary distinction between the two is the level of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, doing business as an interior designer requires formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or residential spaces functional as well as attractive. On many projects they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are two general areas that an interior designer in Daleville AL may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any area of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with public or commercial areas, designers normally focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.
There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, including color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui concepts, Daleville AL interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
Interior Design Degree Programs
There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to obtain the training needed to start your new profession in Daleville AL. Your choice will no doubt be driven by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, make 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 a number of states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum level of education needed to enter the profession. They take about two years to complete and programs are offered at many Alabama trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that furnish more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical facets of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced training in design after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer choices in specialty majors in general areas such 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 mostly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ 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 degree programs become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be called for before an applicant can take the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Programs
For anyone wishing' to attend classes in the convenience of their Daleville AL homes, there are online accredited interior design classes. Studying online can be a great solution for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For many students online schools may be the only alternative if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Added costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the school you pick is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
After you have chosen the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of reviewing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the campus has to be within driving distance from your Daleville AL residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will narrow down your options also. But selecting 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 should consider as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a few questions that you may want to address with the schools you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and subsequently choose the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's necessary to confirm that the interior designer program and college that you choose 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). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding evaluation 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 establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are outstanding, it might also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Daleville AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore aside from furnishing an outstanding education, the Daleville AL program you choose should also furnish the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College'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. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It could also signify that the college has a substantial network of Daleville AL business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Daleville AL schools you are looking at and find out what kind of support they offer. Many of interior design colleges offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in obtaining grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that choosing 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 competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Daleville AL schools you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Daleville home, visit the campus and attend a couple of classes. While there talk with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior design program you choose offers 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 Daleville AL, verify that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose in the Best Daleville Interior Design School
Picking the ideal interior design college is a critical first step toward launching your career in this artistic and fulfilling occupation. Locating a college where you will receive your education and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a challenging job no matter what major you have selected. As with any undertaking to acquire an advanced education, there are a number of things to think about before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the business. But it is still essential that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design programs so that you can make the right final selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Daleville Alabama.