How to Pick the Right Interior Designer Course Brantleyville Alabama
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design degree program near Brantleyville AL, it's time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's imperative that you receive the appropriate training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's very important that you do the proper research so that you can analyze and compare each school that you are looking at before you make your ultimate choice. But just where do you begin? Some prospective students will kick off their research by searching for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are key factors when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation need to be considered also. We will discuss those topics and other crucial 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 training options are offered.
Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration
Many people confuse interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The key distinction between them is the amount of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or living areas functional as well as attractive. On various occasions they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Brantleyville AL may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any room of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers frequently concentrate predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the main consideration.
There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers have 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, Brantleyville AL interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final creations.
Interior Designer Degrees
There are four degree options available in interior design to get the training needed to start your new career in Brantleyville AL. Your selection will undoubtedly be motivated by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in some states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum level of education required to enter the profession. They take roughly 2 years to finish and programs are offered at many Alabama community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that supply more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative aspects of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These two year programs supply advanced design training after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer choices in specialty 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. Doctorate degrees are largely for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are generally completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be needed before an applicant can take the licensing exam.
Online Interior Designer Schools
For those who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their Brantleyville AL homes, there are online accredited interior design colleges. Studying online can be a good option for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For a number of students online schools may be the only alternative if no interior design schools are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated also. Just make sure that the school you select is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the perfect alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Design Schools
After you have decided on the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the campus must be within driving distance from your Brantleyville AL home. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will decrease your options also. But choosing the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to home are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you need to look at also, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a few concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are considering to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and ultimately choose the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's essential to verify that the interior design program and school that you enroll in has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous evaluation of their programs and teachers. Just confirm that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Brantleyville AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several 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, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore besides furnishing an exceptional education, the Brantleyville AL program you enroll in should also furnish the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some support in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It could also indicate that the school has a substantial network of Brantleyville AL business connections where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial aid offices for the Brantleyville AL colleges you are evaluating and ask what type of assistance they provide. A number of interior designer programs offer financial aid to their incoming students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide help in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may actually 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 personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Brantleyville AL programs you are considering what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Brantleyville home, visit the campus and sit in on a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior design college you enroll in provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Brantleyville AL, verify that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.
Pick the Ideal Brantleyville Interior Design School
Picking the right interior designer school is a critical first step toward launching your career in this creative and rewarding profession. Searching for a school where you will obtain your education and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult task regardless of what field you have chosen. As with any undertaking to attain an advanced education, there are many things to consider before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the business. However it is still important that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design programs so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Brantleyville AL.