How to Find the Right Interior Designer Course Brighton Alabama
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design school near Brighton AL, it's time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's important that you obtain the right training to put your skills to work. And since some states do require 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 perform the appropriate research so that you can evaluate and compare each college that you are looking at prior to making your final selection. But where do you start? A number of future students will kick off their research by searching for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are relevant factors when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation need to be taken into account also. We will cover those issues and other vital questions that you must ask 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 alternatives are offered.
Interior Decoration vs Interior Design
Often people confuse interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The primary difference between the two 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, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or living areas functional as well as attractive. On many occasions they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Brighton AL can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers normally concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.
There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui principles, Brighton AL interior designers implement a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
Interior Designer Degree Options
There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to obtain the training necessary to begin your new career in Brighton AL. Your selection will no doubt be motivated by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, be sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated 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. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum amount of education required to enter the profession. They take approximately 2 years to finish and programs are available at a number of Alabama trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that deliver more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative components of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced design training after acquiring the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer choices in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are largely for those professionals who wish 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.
To work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be required before an applicant can take the licensing exam.
Interior Designer Online Colleges
For students who to attend classes in the convenience of their Brighton AL homes, there are online accredited interior design colleges. Studying online can be a great solution for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For many students online colleges may be the sole option if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Additional costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the college you pick is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the discipline to obtain your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the right alternative for you.
What to Ask Interior Designer Programs
When you have chosen the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of analyzing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the college has to be within commuting distance from your Brighton AL home. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will limit your options as well. But choosing the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to your house are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other things that you need to look at also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are reviewing to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and subsequently pick the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer 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 organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone 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 agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are outstanding, it may also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Brighton AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the Program Ready 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) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States calling for licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore besides providing an outstanding education, the Brighton AL program you choose should also furnish the suitable 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 received your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some help in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its students are sought after. It could also signify that the school has a significant network of Brighton AL business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Brighton AL colleges you are looking at and find out what kind of aid they offer. A number of interior design programs offer financial aid to their new students. Various schools offer partial scholarships while others provide assistance in securing grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Brighton AL colleges you are reviewing what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Brighton home, visit the college and sit in on a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior designer program you select offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Brighton AL, make sure that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right Brighton Interior Design College
Selecting the ideal interior design college is a critical first step toward launching your career in this creative and gratifying occupation. Finding a college where you will obtain your training and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a difficult task no matter what major you have decided on. As with any endeavor to acquire a higher education, there are several things to think about before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, check that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the business. But it is still imperative that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Brighton AL.