How to Pick an Interior Designer School Boligee 35443
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design college near Boligee AL, it’s time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial interiors, it’s important that you obtain the proper training to put your skills to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it’s crucial that you do the appropriate research in order to evaluate and compare each college that you are looking at prior to making your final selection. But where do you start? A number of potential students will start their research by searching for colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are important factors when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into consideration as well. We will address those topics and other important questions that you should be asking 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 choices are offered.
Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Often people mistake interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The primary distinction between the two is the level of education required. Any person can work in Boligee 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 requires a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make living or work spaces functional as well as attractive. On some projects they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes in Alabama. They can design essentially any room of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers often focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the main consideration.
There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a Boligee designer must learn, such as color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui concepts, interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
Interior Designer Degrees
There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to get the training needed to launch your new profession. Your selection will no doubt be motivated by your career objectives in Boligee as well as the money and time that you have 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 take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in some states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum level of training needed to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to finish and programs are available at a number of community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level positions in Boligee as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical components of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position in Alabama as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced design training after attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer choices in specialty majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are primarily 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 3 to 5 years.
In order to work professionally and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be required before an applicant can take the licensing exam.
Interior Designer Online Degree Programs
For individuals who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Boligee homes, there are online accredited interior design schools. Attending classes online can be a good alternative for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For some students online programs may be the only option if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Added expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the school you select is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the dedication to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the ideal alternative for you.
What to Ask Interior Designer Schools
After you have selected the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of reviewing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the college must be within commuting distance from your Boligee residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But selecting the most affordable school or the one that is nearest to home are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you should look at as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a few questions that you may want to address with the programs you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and subsequently choose the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It’s essential to verify that the interior design college and program that you select has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding evaluation 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 confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education 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, many Boligee employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some 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 program. And in several of those states requiring licensing, at least 2 years of occupational experience may be required also. So besides furnishing an excellent education, the program you select should also provide the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some help in finding your first position in Boligee. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It could also signify that the college has a large network of business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the colleges you are reviewing and ask what kind of assistance they offer in 35443. A number of Alabama interior design colleges offer financial aid to their new students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships and others provide help in securing federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the colleges you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Boligee home, visit the school and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior designer program you enroll in offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Boligee, verify that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative as well. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.
Choose the Right Interior Designer Certification Training Boligee ALSelecting the ideal interior designer program is an important first step toward launching your career in this creative and gratifying profession. Finding a school where you will obtain your education and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting job regardless of what field you have chosen. As with any undertaking to attain a higher education, there are a number of factors to consider before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, verify that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the business. However it is still imperative that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare programs so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer.