How to Find the Right Interior Design Course Berry Alabama
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Berry AL, it's time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's essential that you get the right training to put your talents to work. And since several states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's vital that you do the proper research in order to analyze and compare each college that you are reviewing before you make your ultimate selection. But where do you start? Some future students will begin their research by searching for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are important variables when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into account also. We will address those issues and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training choices are available.
Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Often people confuse interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The main difference between the two is the amount of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, working as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or residential spaces functional as well as attractive. On many projects they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Berry AL may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers typically 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 kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public areas, designers frequently focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might concentrate more on functionality over looks as the main consideration.
There are numerous areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example color schemes, lighting, 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 integrating Feng shui principles, Berry AL interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
Interior Designer Degrees
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to obtain the training needed to begin your new career in Berry AL. Your decision will undoubtedly be driven by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in several states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum level of education needed to enter the field. They take roughly two years to complete and programs are available at numerous Alabama trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that deliver more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical components of the business required to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced training in design after acquiring the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialty 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. Doctorate degrees are primarily for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are usually completed in three to five years.
To work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be required before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.
Online Interior Designer Degree Programs
For students who to study in the comfort of their Berry AL homes, there are accredited online interior design colleges. Attending classes online can be a great alternative for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For a number of students online programs may be the only alternative if no interior design colleges are within driving 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 minimized or eliminated also. Just be sure 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 schools may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the dedication to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the perfect option for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Designer Programs
When you have decided on the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of reviewing your school options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your Berry AL residence. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will narrow down your options as well. But choosing the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other things that you need to consider as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a list of questions that you may want to address with the schools you are considering to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and subsequently select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's imperative to make sure that the interior designer program and school that you select has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are outstanding, it might also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Berry AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. So aside from providing an outstanding education, the Berry AL school you enroll in should also furnish the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy 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 earned your interior design certification, you will no doubt need some help 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 high rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It could also indicate that the school has a substantial network of Berry AL business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Berry AL schools you are reviewing and find out what kind of aid they provide. A number of interior design schools offer financial aid to their new students. Various schools provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Berry AL colleges you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Berry home, visit the school 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 approaches are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior designer college you choose provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Berry AL, confirm that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.
Select the Best Berry Interior Design College
Picking the ideal interior designer program is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and fulfilling profession. Locating a college where you will obtain your training and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a difficult task regardless of what field you have selected. As with any endeavor to attain an advanced education, there are several things to think about before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design college are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. However it is still essential that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design programs so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Berry AL.