How to Select an Interior Design School Deatsville 36022
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Deatsville AL, it’s time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential interiors, it’s imperative that you get the proper training to put your talents to work. And since some states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it’s crucial that you perform the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each school that you are looking at before you make your final selection. But just where do you start? Many future students will launch their research by searching for colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are key issues when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into consideration also. We will discuss those issues and other important 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 training choices are offered.
Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Often people mistake interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The key difference between the two is the amount of education required. Anyone can work in Deatsville AL as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer requires formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or residential areas functional as well as attractive. On some occasions they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes in Alabama. They can design basically any room of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public areas, designers often focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the primary concern.
There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a Deatsville designer needs to learn, such as lighting, color shemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui concepts, interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
Interior Design Degrees
There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to get the training necessary to start your new career. Your decision will undoubtedly be motivated by your career goals in Deatsville in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in a number of states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum amount of training required to enter the field. They take approximately two years to complete and programs are available at many trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level employment in Deatsville as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that supply more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative components of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level position in Alabama as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs supply advanced design training after achieving a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide options in specialty majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are largely for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are generally completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work professionally and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, many states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be called for before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.
Interior Designer Online Colleges
For those who wish to study in the convenience of their Deatsville homes, there are accredited online interior design degrees. Attending classes online can be a good option for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For some students online programs may be the sole option 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 commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the program you select is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, 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 online or distance education. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Designer Schools
After you have decided on the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of reviewing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the college needs to be within driving distance from your Deatsville residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But choosing the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you should look at also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a list of questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others to help you assess and subsequently choose the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It’s imperative to confirm that the interior design college and program that you choose has been accredited by 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 gone through a rigorous evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just confirm that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Deatsville employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several states do require 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 program. And in several of those states calling for licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to furnishing an exceptional education, the college you choose should also provide the proper education to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some help in finding your first job in Deatsville. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It might also signify that the school has a substantial network of business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Available? Contact the financial assistance departments for the colleges you are reviewing and ask what type of aid they provide in 36022. A number of Alabama interior designer programs offer financial aid to their incoming students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the schools you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Deatsville home, go to the school and monitor a couple of classes. While there speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior designer program you select offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Deatsville, confirm that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Right Interior Designer Degree Program Deatsville ALChoosing the right interior designer program is an important initial step toward starting your career in this creative and gratifying profession. Searching for a school where you will obtain your training and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a difficult task regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to attain a higher education, there are many things to consider before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. However it is still important that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare programs so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer.