How to Find the Right Interior Designer School Bayou La Batre Alabama
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer school near Bayou La Batre 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 receive the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's crucial that you carry out the appropriate research in order to analyze and compare each college that you are considering prior to making your final decision. But exactly where do you start? A number of prospective students will begin their research by searching for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are key variables when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into account as well. We will address those issues and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But before we do, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are offered.
Interior Decoration vs Interior Design
Many people mistake interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The primary distinction between them is the amount of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, 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 as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or living spaces attractive as well as functional. On some occasions they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Bayou La Batre AL can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any room of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers often concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over appearance as the main consideration.
There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, including color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui principles, Bayou La Batre AL interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final designs.
Interior Design Degree Options
There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to get the training needed to launch your new career in Bayou La Batre AL. Your decision will no doubt be motivated by your career objectives in addition to the money and time that you have to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, be sure to select 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 addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum level of education needed to enter the field. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are offered at a number of Alabama trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly 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 technical and creative aspects of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced training in design after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mainly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be called for before an applicant can take the licensing exam.
Interior Designer Online Classes
For anyone wishing' to study in the convenience of their Bayou La Batre AL homes, there are online accredited interior design classes. Studying online can be an excellent alternative 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 convenient for the student. For a number of students online colleges may be the only alternative if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Additional costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make certain that the school 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 receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the right option for you.
What to Ask Interior Designer Programs
When you have chosen the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of analyzing your college options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the college needs to be within commuting distance from your Bayou La Batre AL residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will narrow down your options as well. But choosing the most affordable college or the one that is closest to home are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you should consider also, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a few concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are considering to get those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and ultimately choose the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's necessary to confirm that the interior design program and school that you enroll in has earned accreditation from 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). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are outstanding, it might also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Bayou La Batre AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some 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 college. And in several of those States requiring licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore besides furnishing an excellent education, the Bayou La Batre AL program you choose should also furnish the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It might also signify that the school has a significant network of Bayou La Batre AL business connections where they can place students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Bayou La Batre AL schools you are evaluating and find out what type of aid they offer. Many of interior design programs offer financial assistance to their new students. Various schools offer partial scholarships while others provide assistance in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Bayou La Batre AL colleges you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Bayou La Batre home, visit the school and sit in on a couple of 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 experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior design program you choose offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Bayou La Batre AL, confirm that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Enroll in the Best Bayou La Batre Interior Design School
Choosing the ideal interior design program is a critical initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and fulfilling occupation. Finding a college where you will obtain your education and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult job no matter what field you have selected. As with any endeavor to attain a higher education, there are several factors to think about before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, make sure that the design college and program are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. But it is still imperative that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design programs so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Bayou La Batre AL.