How to Choose the Right Interior Design College Brundidge Alabama
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near Brundidge AL, it's time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's essential that you obtain the proper training to put your skills to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's essential that you do the appropriate research in order to assess and compare each college that you are considering prior to making your final selection. But where do you begin? A number of future students will kick off their research by looking for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are relevant factors when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into consideration also. We will cover those topics 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 options are available.
Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Many people mistake interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The primary distinction between the two is the level of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer requires formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or living spaces attractive as well as functional. On various projects they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Brundidge AL can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial areas, designers often focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.
There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, such as color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. They must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Brundidge AL interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
Interior Designer Training Programs
There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to acquire the training required to start your new profession in Brundidge AL. Your choice will no doubt be influenced by your career objectives in addition to the money and time that you have to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in some states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum amount of training needed to enter the field. They take roughly two years to finish and programs are offered at numerous Alabama community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical components of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These two year programs supply advanced design training after acquiring a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are primarily for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be needed before a candidate can take the licensing exam.
Online Interior Design Degree Programs
For students who to attend classes in the convenience of their Brundidge AL homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Studying online can be an excellent solution 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 convenient for the student. For some students online schools may be the only alternative if no interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated also. Just be sure that the program you enroll in is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the dedication to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the perfect option for you.
What to Ask Interior Designer Schools
When you have decided on the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of reviewing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the school needs to be within driving distance from your Brundidge AL home. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will narrow down your options as well. But selecting the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your house are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you should consider as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are considering to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and ultimately select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's essential to verify that the interior designer program and college that you choose has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are outstanding, it may also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Brundidge AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. So besides furnishing an outstanding education, the Brundidge AL program you choose should also provide the suitable education 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? Once you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will no doubt need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design field and its students are sought after. It could also signify that the college has a substantial network of Brundidge AL business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial aid departments for the Brundidge AL colleges you are evaluating and ask what kind of support they offer. A number of interior designer programs offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide support in securing grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Brundidge AL programs you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Brundidge home, go to the school and monitor a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior designer college you select provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Brundidge AL, verify that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Right Brundidge Interior Design School
Choosing the ideal interior designer program is an important first step toward starting your career in this creative and fulfilling occupation. Searching for a college where you will receive your education and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult job regardless of what major you have selected. As with any undertaking to receive a higher education, there are a number of things to consider before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, confirm that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the field. But it is still imperative that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design programs so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Brundidge AL.