How to Find the Right Interior Designer Course Creola Alabama
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design degree program near Creola AL, it's time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's important that you obtain the right 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 preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it's essential that you perform the proper research so that you can analyze and compare each school that you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision. But just where do you begin? Many future students will start their research by searching for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are relevant issues when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into account also. We will discuss those issues and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But first, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are available.
Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design
Many people mistake interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The principal difference between the two is the amount of education required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. However, working as an interior designer requires formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or living areas functional as well as attractive. On many projects they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are two general areas that an interior designer in Creola AL can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers typically 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 particular room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers normally focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.
There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, such as color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui principles, Creola AL interior designers implement a wide range of skills that contribute to their final designs.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to obtain the training required to launch your new profession in Creola AL. Your choice will undoubtedly be motivated by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in several states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum amount of education required to enter the profession. They take about 2 years to finish and programs are offered at a number of Alabama vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative facets of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced design training after acquiring a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide alternatives in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mostly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are normally completed in three to five years.
In order to work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be called for before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.
Online Interior Designer Degree Programs
For students who to attend classes in the comfort of their Creola AL homes, there are accredited online interior design degrees. Studying online can be an excellent alternative for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For some students online programs may be the only alternative if no interior design colleges 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 reduced or eliminated also. Just make sure that the program you select is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Design Colleges
When you have decided on the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of evaluating your school options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the college must be within commuting distance from your Creola AL home. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will limit your options also. But picking the least expensive college 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 consider as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the program. Below are a list of questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are considering to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and ultimately pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's imperative to confirm that the interior designer 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 industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just confirm 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 confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are excellent, it may also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Creola AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate 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 calling for licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required as well. So besides providing an exceptional education, the Creola AL program you enroll in should also provide 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 College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will probably want some help in finding your first job. Ask the schools 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 held in high regard within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It could also indicate that the school has a large network of Creola AL business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Creola AL schools you are looking at and ask what kind of assistance they offer. A number of interior design programs provide financial aid to their incoming students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide support in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Creola AL programs you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Creola home, visit the college and monitor a couple of classes. While there talk with a few 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 Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior design school you select offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Creola AL, confirm that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.
Choose the Right Creola Interior Design Program
Picking the right interior design program is an important first step toward launching your career in this artistic and fulfilling occupation. Finding a college where you will receive your training and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a daunting task no matter what field you have chosen. As with any endeavor to acquire a higher education, there are many factors to consider before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the business. But it is still important that you conduct your due diligence research. 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 appropriate final selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Creola AL.