How to Select an Interior Designer School Trussville 35173
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design college near Trussville AL, it’s time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential interiors, it’s important that you obtain the appropriate training to put your skills to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s essential that you do the appropriate research so that you can analyze and compare each school that you are reviewing prior to making your final decision. But exactly where do you start? Many future students will kick off their research by searching for colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are relevant issues when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into consideration as well. We will address those topics and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training options are offered.
Interior Decoration vs Interior Design
Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The key distinction between the two is the amount of training required. Any person can do business in Trussville AL as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent 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 and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make living or work areas attractive as well as functional. On many projects they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad areas 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 the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers frequently focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.
There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a Trussville designer must learn, including color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui concepts, interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final designs.
Interior Design Degrees
There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to acquire the training required to launch your new profession. Your selection will no doubt be motivated by your career goals in Trussville as well as the time and money that you have to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, make certain to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is required 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. Following are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum amount of education required to enter the field. They take roughly two years to complete and programs are offered at a number of trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level positions in Trussville as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that provide more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative components of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level job in Alabama as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs provide advanced training in design after attaining a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer alternatives in specialized majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to improve 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 university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are normally completed in three to five years.
In order to work as a professional and use the title of “Interior Designer”, many states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be called for before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Designer Online Classes
For students who to study in the comfort of their Trussville homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Attending classes online can be an excellent option for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For some students online programs may be the sole option if no interior design schools are within commuting 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 reduced or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the college you select is accredited by a respected accrediting organization, 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 dedication to obtain your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the perfect alternative for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Design Colleges
After you have selected the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of reviewing your school options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your Trussville residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will narrow down your choices also. But picking the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to home are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other things that you should look at also, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and ultimately pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It’s important to verify that the interior design college and program that you select has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding assessment of their programs and teachers. Just verify 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 confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are outstanding, it may also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Trussville employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of 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 school. And in some of those states calling for licensing, at least 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. So in addition to providing an outstanding education, the school you choose should also provide the proper training to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will probably need some assistance in finding your first job in Trussville. 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 an excellent sign that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It could also indicate that the school has a sizable network of business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the schools you are looking at and ask what type of support they provide in 35173. A number of Alabama interior designer colleges offer financial assistance to their new students. Certain schools offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the schools you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Trussville home, visit the school and attend a few classes. While there talk with a few students and find out 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? Finally, make certain that the interior designer program you choose provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Trussville, make certain that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Pick the Best Interior Designer Program Trussville ALChoosing the right interior designer school is a critical first step toward launching your career in this creative and fulfilling profession. Finding a school where you will receive your education and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a difficult job regardless of what field you have decided on. As with any undertaking to acquire an advanced education, there are several things to consider before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. But it is still important that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare programs so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer.