How to Select the Right Interior Design Course Carlisle Rockledge Alabama
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design degree program near Carlisle Rockledge AL, it's time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's imperative that you get the proper training to put your talents to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it's essential that you carry out the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each school that you are reviewing before you make your ultimate decision. But where do you start? Many future students will launch their research by looking for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are important issues when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation need to be considered as well. We will cover those topics and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But before we do, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class alternatives are available.
Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The main distinction between them is the level of training required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, 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 trained to make living or work spaces attractive as well as functional. On various projects they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are two broad categories that an interior designer in Carlisle Rockledge AL can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any room of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers normally focus predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.
There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui concepts, Carlisle Rockledge AL interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
Interior Design Degrees
There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to obtain the training necessary to start your new profession in Carlisle Rockledge AL. Your decision will undoubtedly be motivated by your career objectives in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, be sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in a number of states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum amount of education needed to enter the field. They take roughly two years to complete and programs are available at a number of Alabama trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical aspects 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 job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced design training after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide alternatives in specialty majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are largely for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are typically 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 degree programs become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be required before an applicant can take the licensing examination.
Online Interior Designer Schools
For those who wish to study in the comfort of their Carlisle Rockledge AL homes, there are accredited online interior design schools. Studying online can be an excellent solution for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For many students online schools may be the only alternative if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Additional costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated as well. 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 schools may also acquire 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 college may be the perfect option for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Design Colleges
When you have selected the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of reviewing your college options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the school must be within driving distance from your Carlisle Rockledge AL residence. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will decrease your options as well. But picking the most affordable school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you need to look at as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a few questions that you may want to address with the programs you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others to help you assess and ultimately choose the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's essential to confirm that the interior designer college and program that you enroll in has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive assessment of their programs and teachers. Just make sure that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are exceptional, it may also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Carlisle Rockledge AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the Program Ready 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 program. And in several of those States mandating licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required also. Therefore aside from providing an exceptional education, the Carlisle Rockledge AL school you choose should also provide the suitable education 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? Once you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will probably want some support in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It could also indicate that the college has a large network of Carlisle Rockledge AL business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Carlisle Rockledge AL colleges you are evaluating and ask what kind of support they offer. A number of interior designer colleges provide financial assistance to their new students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide help in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Carlisle Rockledge AL schools you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Carlisle Rockledge home, go to the college and attend a few classes. While there speak with some students and ask 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 Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior designer school you select offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Carlisle Rockledge AL, confirm that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Find the Right Carlisle Rockledge Interior Design School
Choosing the ideal interior designer school is an important initial step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding profession. Locating a college where you will receive your education and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a challenging task no matter what major you have selected. As with any undertaking to acquire a higher education, there are a number of factors to think about before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, verify that the design college and program are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. However it is still imperative that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the right final selection. And with quality training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Carlisle Rockledge AL.