How to Pick the Right Interior Designer Program Bayou La Batre Alabama
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer college near Bayou La Batre AL, it's time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's imperative that you receive the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's very important that you do the proper research in order to evaluate and compare each college that you are considering before you make your final choice. But just where do you start? Many potential students will start their research by looking for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are important issues when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into account as well. We will discuss those topics and other crucial questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class choices are available.
Interior Decoration and Interior Design
Many people confuse interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The main 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 areas. However, working as an interior designer requires formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or residential spaces attractive as well as functional. On some occasions they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Bayou La Batre AL can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers normally focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.
There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, such as lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui concepts, Bayou La Batre AL interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that contribute to their final creations.
Interior Designer Training Programs
There are four degree options available in interior design to obtain the training necessary to launch your new profession in Bayou La Batre AL. Your selection will undoubtedly be influenced by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in a number of states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum level of training needed to enter the field. They take approximately two years to finish and programs are offered at numerous Alabama vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that provide more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical components of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced training in design after achieving the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide alternatives in specialized majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are primarily for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be needed before an applicant can take the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Classes
For individuals who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their Bayou La Batre AL homes, there are online accredited interior design colleges. Studying online can be a great option for those students that are working 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 some students online schools may be the sole alternative if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make certain 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 programs may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the dedication to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the right alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Designer Programs
Once you have decided on the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the task of assessing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the campus has to be within driving 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 selecting the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to home are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you need to consider as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a few questions that you may want to address with the schools you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and ultimately pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's important to make sure that the interior designer college and program that you select has been accredited by either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college 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 excellent, it might also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Bayou La Batre AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do mandate 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 work experience may be required also. Therefore aside from providing an outstanding education, the Bayou La Batre AL program you select should also furnish the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet 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 obtained your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its students are sought after. It might also signify that the school has a significant network of Bayou La Batre AL business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial aid offices for the Bayou La Batre AL colleges you are reviewing and find out what type of assistance they offer. Many of interior designer schools offer financial aid to their new students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide support in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Bayou La Batre AL programs you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Bayou La Batre home, go to the college and sit in on a couple of classes. While there speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior designer college you choose offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly 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, make certain that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Choose the Ideal Bayou La Batre Interior Design Program
Choosing the ideal interior design college is an important first step toward launching your career in this artistic and rewarding occupation. Locating a school where you will receive your training and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a daunting task regardless of what field you have decided on. As with any endeavor to attain a higher education, there are several things to consider before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. However it is still imperative that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with quality training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Bayou La Batre AL.