How to Find the Right Interior Designer Course Brundidge Alabama
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer 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 receive the proper training to put your talents to work. And since several states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's very important that you do the appropriate research so that you can analyze and compare each school that you are considering before you make your final choice. But where do you begin? Some potential students will launch their research by looking for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are key variables when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation need to be taken into consideration as well. We will discuss those topics and other important questions that you must ask 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 options are offered.
Interior Decoration and Interior Design
Some people confuse interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The key difference between them is the amount of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. However, doing business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make living or work areas functional as well as attractive. On some projects they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Brundidge AL can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any room of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with public or commercial areas, designers normally concentrate predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary concern.
There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, including color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui principles, Brundidge AL interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that contribute to their final designs.
Interior Design Degree Options
There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to receive the training necessary to start your new career in Brundidge AL. Your choice will undoubtedly be driven 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 opt to enroll in, make certain 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 accreditation benefits later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum level of education required to enter the profession. They take approximately 2 years to finish and programs are offered at numerous 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 in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical 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 job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced training in design after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer options in specialized majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are largely for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be called for before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Classes
For anyone wishing' to study in the convenience of their Brundidge AL homes, there are online accredited interior design degrees. Attending classes online can be a good alternative for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For some students online colleges may be the sole option if no interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Additional expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make certain that the college you enroll in is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency, 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 confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Design Schools
Now that you have decided on the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of evaluating your college options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the school must be within driving distance from your Brundidge AL home. Naturally if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But selecting the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you need to look at as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Below are a list of questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others to help you assess and subsequently choose the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's essential to verify that the interior designer program and college that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding 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 agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are outstanding, it may also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Brundidge AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do require that interior designers become 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 college. And in several of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required also. Therefore in addition to providing an excellent education, the Brundidge AL school you enroll in should also furnish the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some support in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It could also signify that the school has a significant network of Brundidge AL business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Brundidge AL colleges you are reviewing and ask what kind of assistance they offer. Many of interior designer colleges provide financial aid to their new students. Various schools provide partial scholarships while others provide support in obtaining 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 college that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Brundidge AL colleges you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Brundidge home, go to the college and monitor 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 philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior designer school you enroll in offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Brundidge AL, verify that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Select the Right Brundidge Interior Design Program
Picking the right interior designer 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 develop your skills in a particular area of study is a challenging task regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any undertaking to acquire an advanced 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 esteemed in the field. However it is still important that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design colleges 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.