How to Select the Right Interior Design Course Dadeville Alabama
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near Dadeville AL, it's time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's important that you obtain the appropriate training to put your skills to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it's crucial that you perform the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each program that you are reviewing before you make your final decision. But exactly where do you begin? A number of future students will begin their research by looking for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are important variables when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into consideration as well. We will address those issues and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are reviewing 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 offered.
Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design
Some people mistake interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The key difference between them is the level of training required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, working as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or living areas functional as well as attractive. On many occasions they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are two general areas that an interior designer in Dadeville AL can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any room of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers normally concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.
There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, including 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 selecting carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui principles, Dadeville AL interior designers implement a wide range of skills that help bring about their final designs.
Interior Designer Degree Options
There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to get the training needed to begin your new profession in Dadeville AL. Your choice will no doubt be motivated by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in a number of states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum amount of education needed to enter the field. They take about two years to complete and programs are offered at many Alabama trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level employment 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 credential needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced training in design after achieving the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are mainly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are usually 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 several instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be needed before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.
Online Interior Designer Schools
For those who wish to study in the comfort of their Dadeville AL homes, there are accredited online interior design schools. Studying online can be a good option for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For a number of students online colleges may be the sole option if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Additional costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated also. Just make sure that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. 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.
Subjects to Ask Interior Design Colleges
Now that you have decided on the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of reviewing your school options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the campus must be within commuting distance from your Dadeville AL residence. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will narrow down your choices also. But picking the cheapest school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you should look at also, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are looking at to get those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and ultimately pick the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's imperative to make sure that the interior designer program and school that you select has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous evaluation of their programs and instructors. 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 establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it may also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Dadeville AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do require 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 college. And in some of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore in addition to furnishing an excellent education, the Dadeville AL college you select should also furnish the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill 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 received your interior design certification, you will probably need some help in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its students are sought after. It may also indicate that the college has a sizable network of Dadeville AL business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Dadeville AL colleges you are reviewing and ask what type of assistance they offer. A number of interior design schools provide financial aid to their new students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide help in acquiring federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Dadeville AL colleges you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Dadeville home, go to the campus and sit in on a few classes. While there talk with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior designer school you enroll in provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Dadeville AL, make certain that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Pick the Right Dadeville Interior Design Program
Picking the ideal interior designer school is a crucial first step toward starting your career in this artistic and rewarding profession. Finding a school where you will obtain your education and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a challenging job regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any undertaking to attain an advanced education, there are several things to consider before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, make sure that the design college and program are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. But it is still imperative that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design programs so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Dadeville AL.