How to Select an Interior Design Course Albertville 35950
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design college near Albertville AL, it’s time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors, it’s imperative that you get the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it’s essential that you perform the appropriate research in order to evaluate and compare each college that you are reviewing before you make your final choice. But exactly where do you begin? Many prospective students will begin their research by looking for colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are relevant issues when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation need to be taken into consideration also. We will discuss those topics and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class options are available.
Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Often people mistake interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The key distinction between the two is the level of training required. Any person can work in Albertville AL as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or living areas attractive as well as functional. On various occasions they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes in Alabama. 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 kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public areas, designers frequently concentrate predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.
There are numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design that a Albertville designer needs to learn, for example color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui principles, interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
Interior Design Degree Options
There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to acquire the training needed to launch your new profession. Your decision will undoubtedly be influenced by your career goals in Albertville 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 mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in several states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum level of training required to enter the profession. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are offered at a number of trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level positions in Albertville as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that provide more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative components of the business needed to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level job in Alabama as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs provide advanced training in design after acquiring a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer options in specialized majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mostly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work as a professional and use the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be needed before an applicant can take the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Schools
For students who to study in the convenience of their Albertville homes, there are accredited online interior design colleges. Attending classes online can be a great alternative for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For a number of students online colleges may be the only alternative if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the program you choose is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the discipline to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Design Programs
After you have chosen the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the school has to be within commuting distance from your Albertville home. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will limit your options as well. But picking the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you should consider also, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others to help you compare and subsequently choose the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It’s important to make sure that the interior designer school and program that you choose has earned accreditation from either a regional or national 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 a demanding assessment of their programs and teachers. Just verify 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 confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Albertville employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of states do mandate 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 calling for licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required also. So besides furnishing an outstanding education, the program you enroll in should also provide the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be employed.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some help in finding your first job in Albertville. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, 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 graduates are sought after. It may also signify that the college has a large network of business connections where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the schools you are reviewing and find out what kind of aid they provide in 35950. Many of Alabama interior design programs offer financial aid to their incoming students. Certain schools offer partial scholarships while others provide assistance in obtaining federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the colleges you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Albertville home, visit the school and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior designer college you choose offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Albertville, verify that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Pick the Right Interior Design Degree Program Albertville ALPicking the right interior designer program is an important initial step toward starting your career in this creative and gratifying profession. Locating a school where you will obtain your education and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult task regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to acquire an advanced education, there are several factors to consider before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. However it is still imperative that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare colleges so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer.