How to Find the Right Interior Designer College Adamsville Alabama
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design school near Adamsville 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 spaces, it's essential that you get the proper training to put your talents to work. And since some states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's vital that you perform the appropriate research in order to assess and compare each school that you are looking at before you make your ultimate decision. But where do you begin? Many prospective students will kick off their research by searching for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are key variables when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into account as well. We will cover those issues and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But before we do, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class options are offered.
Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design
Often people confuse interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The main difference between the two is the amount of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, doing 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 taught to make work or residential spaces functional as well as attractive. On various projects they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are two broad areas that an interior designer in Adamsville AL may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public areas, designers frequently concentrate primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.
There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, for example 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 choosing carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Adamsville AL interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
Interior Design Training Programs
There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to acquire the training required to start your new career in Adamsville AL. Your choice will no doubt be influenced by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make certain to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in several states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum amount of education needed to enter the field. They take approximately two years to complete and programs are offered at a number of Alabama community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can typically obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that supply 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 lowest credential needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced training in design after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialized 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 programs are mainly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are typically completed in three to five years.
In order to work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be called for before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.
Interior Designer Online Schools
For individuals who wish to study in the comfort of their Adamsville AL homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Studying online can be a good solution for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For many students online programs may be the sole option if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Additional costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Design Programs
After you have selected the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the college has to be within driving distance from your Adamsville AL residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will decrease your choices also. But selecting the cheapest college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you should look at as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a few questions that you may want to ask the programs you are considering to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you compare and subsequently choose the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's important to confirm that the interior designer college and program that you select has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. 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 evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just make sure that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Adamsville AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States mandating licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required also. So in addition to furnishing an excellent education, the Adamsville AL school you enroll in should also provide the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some support in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It may also signify that the school has a substantial network of Adamsville AL business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Adamsville AL schools you are reviewing and find out what kind of support they offer. A number of interior designer schools offer financial aid to their new students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide support in securing grants or federal student loans. 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 effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Adamsville AL colleges you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Adamsville home, go to the school and monitor a couple of classes. While there speak with some students and find out 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 Fit your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior designer program you enroll in offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Adamsville AL, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Find the Best Adamsville Interior Design School
Choosing the right interior design program is an important initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and rewarding profession. Locating a college where you will obtain your education and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting task no matter what major you have selected. As with any undertaking to acquire an advanced education, there are many factors to think about before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. However it is still imperative that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design programs so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Adamsville AL.