How to Find the Right Interior Design Course near Tillmans Corner Alabama
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near Tillmans Corner AL, it's time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's essential that you receive the appropriate training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of 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 crucial that you perform the proper research in order to analyze and compare each college that you are looking at before you make your ultimate decision. But just where do you begin? Many prospective students will start their research by searching for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are key issues when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation need to be taken into consideration also. We will address those issues and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But before we do, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class options are available.
Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Some people confuse interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The principal difference between them is the level of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or living areas functional as well as attractive. On many projects they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad areas that an interior designer in Tillmans Corner AL may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public areas, designers normally focus predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.
There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, including lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui concepts, Tillmans Corner AL interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final creations.
Interior Designer Training Programs
There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to receive the training necessary to launch your new career in Tillmans Corner AL. Your decision will undoubtedly be motivated by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make certain to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in some states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum level of training needed to enter the field. They take roughly two years to finish and programs are offered at a number of Alabama trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that furnish more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical aspects of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced design training after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialty majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mostly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are usually completed in three to five years.
In order to work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be required before a candidate can take the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Programs
For individuals who wish to study in the convenience of their Tillmans Corner AL homes, there are online accredited interior design schools. Studying online can be a good solution for those students that are working 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 commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Additional costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated also. Just make certain that the school you enroll in is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, 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 education. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the perfect alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Design Colleges
When you have chosen the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of evaluating your college options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the college must be within commuting distance from your Tillmans Corner AL home. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will decrease your options also. But picking the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you should look at also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the program. Below are a few concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are looking at to get those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and ultimately pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's necessary to make sure that the interior design program and school that you choose has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. 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 undergone an extensive evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just make sure 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 verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it might also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Tillmans Corner AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do mandate that interior designers get 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 school. And in several of those States calling for licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required also. So aside from providing an outstanding education, the Tillmans Corner AL school you enroll in should also provide the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will no doubt need some help in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It may also indicate that the school has a sizable network of Tillmans Corner AL business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Tillmans Corner AL colleges you are evaluating and ask what type of aid they provide. A number of interior design schools offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Various schools provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in acquiring federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Tillmans Corner AL programs you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Tillmans Corner home, go to the college and sit in on a couple of classes. While there speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior design college you choose provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Tillmans Corner AL, make certain that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right Tillmans Corner Interior Design School
Selecting the ideal interior design college is an important initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and rewarding occupation. Searching for a school where you will receive your education and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult task no matter what field you have decided on. As with any endeavor to attain a higher education, there are a number of factors to think about before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the business. But it is still important that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design 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 in Tillmans Corner Alabama.