How to Pick the Right Interior Design Course Abbeville Alabama
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near Abbeville AL, it's time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's essential that you receive the proper training to put your skills to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it's crucial that you carry out the proper research so that you can assess and compare each school that you are considering prior to making your final selection. But where do you begin? A number of prospective students will begin their research by looking for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are key issues when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation should be considered as well. We will address those topics and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But before we do, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training options are available.
Interior Decoration vs Interior Design
Some people mistake interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The principal difference between them is the amount of education required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. However, doing business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or residential spaces attractive as well as functional. On various occasions they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Abbeville AL can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any room of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers often concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.
There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, including color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui principles, Abbeville AL interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final creations.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to obtain the training required to launch your new profession in Abbeville AL. Your choice will no doubt be motivated by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in some states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum level of training needed to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to finish and programs are offered at many Alabama trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level jobs 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 trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced design training after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialty majors in general areas such 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. Doctoral degrees are primarily for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are usually completed in three to five years.
To work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some 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 attend classes in the comfort of their Abbeville AL homes, there are online accredited interior design colleges. Studying online can be a good 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 convenient for the student. For a number of students online programs may be the sole option if no interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Additional costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the program you pick is accredited by a recognized 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 distance or online learning. If you have the dedication to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Design Programs
Now that you have selected the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of analyzing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the campus must be within driving distance from your Abbeville AL residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will decrease your options also. But picking the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you should look at also, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a few concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others to help you compare and subsequently choose the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's imperative to verify that the interior design school and program that you select 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). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding assessment of their programs and instructors. Just verify that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are outstanding, it may also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Abbeville AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do mandate 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 calling for licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore besides providing an exceptional education, the Abbeville AL school you select should also furnish the proper education to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some help in finding your first job. Ask the colleges 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 an excellent sign that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It could also signify that the school has a significant network of Abbeville AL business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial aid departments for the Abbeville AL colleges you are looking at and find out what kind of aid they offer. A number of interior design programs provide financial aid to their new students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide help in securing federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Abbeville AL colleges you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Abbeville home, go to the school and sit in on a few classes. While there talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior designer program you enroll in offers classes the fit your hectic 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 Abbeville AL, verify that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Best Abbeville Interior Design School
Selecting the ideal interior design program is an important initial step toward launching your career in this creative and rewarding profession. Locating a college where you will obtain your education and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a daunting job no matter what field you have decided on. As with any undertaking to receive a higher education, there are a number of things to consider before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. But it is still important that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Abbeville AL.