How to Find the Right Interior Design Course Abbeville Alabama
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design degree program near Abbeville 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 receive the appropriate training to put your talents to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it's vital that you do the proper research so that you can analyze and compare each school that you are looking at prior to making your ultimate choice. But just where do you start? Many future students will begin their research by looking for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are important variables when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into consideration also. We will address those topics and other crucial questions that you must ask 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 choices are offered.
Interior Decoration vs Interior Design
Some people mistake interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The main difference between them is the amount of education required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates 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 trained to make work or living spaces functional as well as attractive. On various projects they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are two general areas that an interior designer in Abbeville AL may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any room of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial areas, designers normally concentrate predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.
There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, including color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Abbeville AL interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that help bring about their final designs.
Interior Design Training 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 driven by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, make certain 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 covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum level of education required to enter the profession. They take approximately two years to complete and programs are offered at numerous Alabama vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can typically obtain entry level jobs 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 creative and technical facets of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced design training after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer choices in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mostly for those professionals who want 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 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 field experience may be called for before an applicant can take the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Classes
For anyone wishing' to study in the convenience of their Abbeville AL homes, there are accredited online interior design colleges. Studying online can be a good option for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For many students online colleges may be the only option if no interior design schools are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Additional expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated also. Just be sure that the school you pick is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Designer Schools
Now that you have chosen the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of assessing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the college has to be within driving distance from your Abbeville AL residence. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will limit your options as well. But selecting the cheapest college or the one that is closest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other things that you need to look at as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Below are a few concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are considering to get those answers in addition to others to help you compare and subsequently select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's important to make sure that the interior design college and program that you enroll in 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). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive assessment 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it may also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Abbeville AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do require that interior designers become 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 several of those States mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required also. So besides providing an excellent education, the Abbeville AL school you enroll in should also furnish the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet 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 earned your interior design certification, you will probably want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its students are sought after. It could also signify that the college has a sizable network of Abbeville AL business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Abbeville AL colleges you are reviewing and ask what kind of aid they offer. A number of interior design schools provide financial aid to their new students. Various schools offer partial scholarships while others provide help in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Abbeville AL colleges you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Abbeville home, visit the college and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to 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 Fit your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior designer program you choose provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Abbeville AL, verify that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Enroll in the Ideal Abbeville Interior Design Program
Choosing the ideal interior design program is a critical initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and rewarding profession. Finding a college where you will obtain your education and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a challenging task regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any undertaking to receive a higher education, there are a number of things to consider before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, make sure that the design college and program are both accredited and highly esteemed in the business. But it is still imperative that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design programs so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Abbeville AL.