How to Choose an Interior Designer Program Hartford 36344
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer school near Hartford AL, it’s time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it’s imperative that you get the proper training to put your skills to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s very important that you do the proper research in order to assess and compare each college that you are reviewing before you make your ultimate decision. But where do you begin? A number of future students will kick off their research by looking for schools near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are important factors when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation need to be considered also. We will address those topics and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But first, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training choices are offered.
Interior Decoration and Interior Design
Some people confuse interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The principal distinction between the two is the level of training required. Anyone can work in Hartford AL as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, conducting 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 living or work spaces functional as well as attractive. On some projects they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are two broad areas that an interior designer may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction in Alabama. They can design essentially any room of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When working on public or commercial areas, designers frequently focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary concern.
There are numerous areas of residential and commercial interior design that a Hartford designer needs to learn, such as color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui principles, interior designers employ a wide range of skills that contribute to their final designs.
Interior Designer Degrees
There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to acquire the training needed to launch your new profession. Your selection will no doubt be influenced by your career goals in Hartford in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in some states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum amount of education needed to enter the field. They take approximately 2 years to complete and programs are available at a number of trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level positions in Hartford as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that furnish more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical aspects of the business required 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 2 year programs furnish advanced design training after acquiring the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer choices in specialized majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are mostly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work as a professional and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be called for before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.
Interior Designer Online Classes
For individuals who wish to study in the comfort of their Hartford homes, there are accredited online interior design programs. Attending classes online can be an excellent alternative for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For a number of students online programs may be the sole alternative if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Added expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the college you choose is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also receive 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 setting, then an online interior design program may be the ideal alternative for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Design Colleges
Now that you have decided on the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the task of analyzing your school options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the campus must be within commuting distance from your Hartford home. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will narrow down your options as well. But selecting the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you need to consider also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a few concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and ultimately select the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It’s important to verify that the interior designer college and program that you choose has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous evaluation of their programs and teachers. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Hartford employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several states do require 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 program. And in some of those states requiring licensing, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from providing an exceptional education, the college you select should also provide the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet 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 probably want some support in finding your first position in Hartford. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out 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 field and its students are sought after. It may also signify that the school has a large network of business connections where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial assistance offices for the colleges you are evaluating and ask what type of aid they offer in 36344. Many of Alabama interior designer schools offer financial aid to their new students. Some schools offer partial scholarships and others provide support in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the schools you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Hartford home, visit the school and sit in on a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few 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 Accommodate your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior designer program you choose offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Hartford, confirm that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Choose the Best Interior Designer College Hartford ALSelecting the ideal interior design school is a crucial initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and rewarding occupation. Locating a school where you will receive your education and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a challenging task no matter what major you have decided on. As with any endeavor to recieve a higher education, there are many factors to consider before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, confirm that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the business. However it is still essential that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare schools so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer.