How to Select the Right Interior Designer Course Coosada Alabama
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design degree program near Coosada AL, it's time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's imperative that you obtain the proper training to put your talents to work. And since several states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's essential that you perform the proper research in order to evaluate and compare each college that you are looking at prior to making your ultimate choice. But exactly where do you start? Some potential students will kick off their research by looking for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are key issues when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation should be considered as well. We will discuss those issues and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are interested in 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 Design vs Interior Decoration
Many people confuse interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The primary distinction between them is the amount of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, working as an interior designer necessitates formal training 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 spaces functional as well as attractive. On many occasions they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad areas that an interior designer in Coosada AL may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any area of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public areas, designers frequently focus predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may focus more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.
There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, including color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. They have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui concepts, Coosada AL interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that help bring about their final designs.
Interior Design Degrees
There are four degree options available in interior design to obtain the training required to begin your new profession in Coosada AL. Your decision will undoubtedly be motivated by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in some states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum level of education required to enter the profession. They take roughly 2 years to finish and programs are available at many Alabama vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain 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 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 furnish advanced design training after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide alternatives in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mainly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are normally completed in three to five years.
To work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be needed before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Schools
For anyone wishing' to attend classes in the comfort of their Coosada AL homes, there are accredited online interior design degrees. Attending classes online can be a good option for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For a number of students online colleges may be the only alternative if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Additional costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated also. Just make certain that the college you choose is accredited by a recognized 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 online or distance education. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Designer Schools
Now that you have selected the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of analyzing your college options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the campus needs to be within driving distance from your Coosada AL home. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will decrease your options as well. But choosing the cheapest college or the one that is closest to home are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you need to consider also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the colleges you are considering to get those answers as well as others to help you assess and subsequently choose the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the interior design school and program that you enroll in has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding assessment of their programs and instructors. Just verify 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 verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are excellent, it may also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Coosada AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States calling for licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to providing an excellent education, the Coosada AL program you choose should also furnish the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will probably want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its graduates are in demand. It could also signify that the college has a large network of Coosada AL business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Available? Contact the financial aid departments for the Coosada AL schools you are looking at and find out what type of assistance they offer. Many of interior designer schools provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide assistance in obtaining federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Coosada AL schools you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Coosada home, visit the campus and sit in on a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior designer program you select provides classes the fit your hectic 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 Coosada AL, confirm that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Select the Right Coosada Interior Design College
Picking the ideal interior designer school is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this creative and gratifying profession. Finding a school where you will obtain your education and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a challenging job no matter what field you have chosen. As with any endeavor to receive a higher education, there are several factors to think about before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. However it is still essential that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design programs so that you can make the right final selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Coosada AL.