How to Find an Interior Designer Program Dadeville 36853
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Dadeville AL, it’s time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial interiors, it’s essential that you get the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it’s essential that you perform the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each program that you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate choice. But just where do you begin? A number of prospective students will kick off their research by looking for colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are relevant issues when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation should be considered as well. We will cover those topics and other crucial questions that you must ask 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 options are available.
Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration
Often people confuse interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The primary distinction between them is the level of education required. Anyone can do business in Dadeville AL as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, working as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or living areas attractive as well as functional. On some projects they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are two general areas that an interior designer may 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, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers normally concentrate primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the main consideration.
There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a Dadeville designer must learn, for example color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui concepts, interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
Interior Designer Degree Options
There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to receive the training necessary to begin your new profession. Your decision will undoubtedly be motivated by your career goals in Dadeville in addition to the money and time that you have 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 needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in a number of states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum level of training required to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to complete and programs are available at many vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can normally obtain entry level positions in Dadeville as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative aspects of the business required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level job in Alabama as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced training in design after acquiring the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer choices in specialty majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mostly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are usually completed in three to five years.
In order 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 field experience may be needed before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.
Online Interior Designer Classes
For those who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Dadeville homes, there are accredited online interior design programs. Studying online can be a great solution for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For some students online colleges may be the only alternative if no interior design colleges 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 commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the school you pick is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the perfect alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Designer Schools
When you have chosen the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of reviewing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the school must be within driving distance from your Dadeville home. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will narrow down your choices also. But picking the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you should look at as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a list of questions that you may want to address with the programs you are considering to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you examine and subsequently pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It’s essential to make sure that the interior design program and school 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). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive assessment of their instructors and programs. Just confirm that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are outstanding, it may also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Dadeville employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of states do require 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 college. And in some of those states requiring licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required as well. So aside from providing an excellent education, the college you enroll in should also furnish the proper training to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some help in finding your first job in Dadeville. 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 sign that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It may also indicate that the school has a sizable network of business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the schools you are reviewing and find out what kind of assistance they provide in 36853. Many of Alabama interior designer colleges provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain schools offer partial scholarships and others provide help in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller 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 reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Dadeville home, visit the campus and attend a few classes. While there talk with a few 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 Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior designer school you enroll in provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Dadeville, verify that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Pick the Ideal Interior Designer Program Dadeville ALPicking the ideal interior design program is an important first step toward launching your career in this creative and rewarding profession. Searching for a college where you will receive your training and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a difficult task no matter what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to attain a higher education, there are several factors to consider before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. But it is still imperative that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare schools so that you can make the right final selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer.