How to Choose an Interior Design School Jemison 35085
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Jemison AL, it’s time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial interiors, it’s imperative 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 could need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it’s essential that you perform the appropriate research in order to assess and compare each school that you are considering prior to making your ultimate choice. But where do you begin? A number of prospective students will begin their research by searching for colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are relevant factors when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation should be considered also. We will cover those topics and other important questions that you must ask 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 alternatives are offered.
Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design
Many people confuse interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The principal distinction between the two is the level of education required. Any person can work in Jemison AL as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, doing business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or residential areas attractive as well as functional. On some occasions they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes in Alabama. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers normally focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality 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 hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.
There are numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design that a Jemison designer needs to learn, for example color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui principles, interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final creations.
Interior Designer Degrees
There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to obtain the training needed to launch your new profession. Your decision will no doubt be influenced by your career objectives in Jemison as well as the time and money that you have to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in several states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum level of training needed to enter the field. They take approximately two years to finish and programs are offered at numerous trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level jobs in Jemison as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that deliver more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical facets of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the minimum degree 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 furnish advanced design training after achieving a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer choices in specialized majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are largely for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are typically completed in three to five years.
In order to work professionally and use the title of “Interior Designer”, many states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be required before a candidate can take the licensing exam.
Online Interior Design Classes
For students who to attend classes in the comfort of their Jemison homes, there are online accredited interior design classes. Studying online can be a great alternative for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For some students online schools may be the sole option if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Additional expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated also. Just make sure that the college you choose is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also obtain 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 structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the ideal alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Design Colleges
When you have selected the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of assessing your college options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the school has to be within driving distance from your Jemison residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will narrow down your choices also. But picking the cheapest school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you should consider also, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a few questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are considering to get those answers in addition to others to help you assess and subsequently pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It’s necessary to confirm that the interior designer program and college that you choose has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment of their programs and instructors. Just verify that both the college and the degree program 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 excellent, it might also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Jemison employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of states do require that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those states mandating licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to furnishing an excellent education, the school you enroll in should also provide the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will probably want some help in finding your first job in Jemison. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its students are sought after. It may also signify that the school has a substantial network of business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the colleges you are looking at and ask what kind of aid they provide in 35085. A number of Alabama interior designer schools provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Various schools offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the colleges you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Jemison home, go to the campus and sit in on a couple of classes. While there talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior designer college you select provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Jemison, verify that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, check 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.
Enroll in the Best Interior Design School Jemison ALChoosing the right interior design college is a crucial first step toward launching your career in this creative and gratifying profession. Finding a college where you will obtain your training and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a daunting task no matter what field you have selected. As with any endeavor to attain a higher education, there are many things to consider before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the design college and program are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. But it is still essential that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare programs so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer.