How to Enroll in the Right Interior Design 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 begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's important that you get the proper training to put your talents to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it's crucial that you carry out the appropriate research so that you can analyze and compare each program that you are considering before you make your ultimate selection. But exactly where do you start? Some prospective students will begin their research by looking for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are key factors when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into consideration also. We will address those issues and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are looking at 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 vs Interior Design
Some people confuse interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The principal difference between them is the amount of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. However, doing business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or living areas attractive as well as functional. On many occasions they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Bayou La Batre AL may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any room of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public areas, designers normally concentrate predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of 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 appearance as the primary consideration.
There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. They need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui principles, Bayou La Batre AL interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
Interior Design Training Programs
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to get the training necessary to start your new profession in Bayou La Batre AL. Your decision will undoubtedly be influenced by your career objectives as well as the money and time that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in some 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 supply the minimum amount of training required to enter the field. They take roughly 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 4 year programs that supply more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical facets of the business required to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced training in design after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives in specialized majors in general areas such 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 desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are generally completed in three to five years.
In order to work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be called for before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.
Online Interior Design Degree Programs
For those who wish 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 working or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For many students online programs may be the only alternative if no interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Added costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the program 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 education. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the ideal alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Design Programs
After you have selected the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of analyzing your college options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the school needs to be within commuting distance from your Bayou La Batre AL home. Naturally if you have decided on attending a school online, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will narrow down your choices also. But selecting the most affordable school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other things that you need to look at also, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a list of questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are reviewing to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and subsequently choose the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's imperative to make sure that the interior design school and program that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. 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 gone through a rigorous assessment of their programs and instructors. Just verify that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are excellent, it may also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Bayou La Batre AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do mandate that interior designers get 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 school. And in several of those States requiring licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from furnishing an exceptional education, the Bayou La Batre AL college you enroll in should also provide the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with 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 attained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It may also indicate that the school has a significant network of Bayou La Batre AL business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Bayou La Batre AL colleges you are evaluating and ask what type of assistance they offer. A number of interior designer schools offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships while others provide support in obtaining grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Bayou La Batre AL programs you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Bayou La Batre home, go to the school and monitor a few classes. While there talk with a few students and ask 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, make sure that the interior design college you select provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Bayou La Batre AL, verify that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Pick the Ideal Bayou La Batre Interior Design College
Picking the ideal interior design school is an important first step toward launching your career in this artistic and rewarding occupation. Searching for a college where you will receive your training and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a difficult task regardless of what major you have decided on. As with any endeavor to attain an advanced education, there are a number of factors to think about before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the field. However it is still essential that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Bayou La Batre AL.