How to Select the Right Interior Designer School Adamsville Alabama
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Adamsville AL, it's time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's imperative that you obtain the appropriate training to put your talents to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it's essential that you do the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each college that you are considering prior to making your final decision. But where do you start? Many future students will kick off their research by searching for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are important factors 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 cover those topics and other important 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 class alternatives are offered.
Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Some people confuse interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The principal distinction between them is the level of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer requires formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make living or work spaces functional as well as attractive. On many projects they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad areas that an interior designer in Adamsville AL may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any room of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers often concentrate predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over looks as the main concern.
There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, for example lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui concepts, Adamsville AL interior designers employ a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
Interior Designer Training Programs
There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to obtain the training necessary to launch your new profession in Adamsville AL. Your selection will undoubtedly be influenced by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make certain to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in several states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum amount of education required to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to complete and programs are offered at a number of Alabama community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that supply more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical components 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 position as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced design training after acquiring the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialized majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are primarily for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be needed before an applicant can take the licensing examination.
Online Interior Designer Colleges
For individuals who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their Adamsville AL homes, there are accredited online interior design schools. Attending classes online can be an excellent solution for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For some students online schools may be the sole option if no interior design schools are within commuting 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 reduced or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the college you select is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, 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 distance or online education. If you have the dedication to obtain your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the perfect alternative for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Design Schools
After you have decided on the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of evaluating your college options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the school has to be within commuting distance from your Adamsville AL home. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will narrow down your options as well. But selecting the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your house are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you should consider as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and ultimately select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's important to confirm that the interior design school and program that you select has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it might also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Adamsville AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required as well. So in addition to furnishing an excellent education, the Adamsville AL school you choose should also provide the proper instruction 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 probably need some help in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It could also signify that the college has a sizable network of Adamsville AL business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Adamsville AL colleges you are reviewing and find out what kind of aid they offer. A number of interior designer colleges offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide support in securing federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Adamsville AL colleges you are reviewing what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Adamsville home, visit the school and sit in on a few classes. While there talk 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 Available that Fit your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior design program you choose offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Adamsville AL, make certain that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Select the Best Adamsville Interior Design Program
Picking the right interior designer school is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding profession. Finding a college where you will obtain your education and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a difficult task no matter what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to attain a higher education, there are several factors to think about before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, verify that the design college and program are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. But it is still imperative that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design programs so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with quality training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Adamsville AL.