How to Select the Right Interior Designer Program Dadeville Alabama
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Dadeville AL, it's time to begin the process of choosing 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 become 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 perform the proper research so that you can evaluate and compare each school that you are considering before you make your final decision. But where do you begin? A number of future students will launch their research by searching for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are key issues when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into account as well. We will discuss those topics and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But before we do, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class alternatives are available.
Interior Decoration and Interior Design
Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The main distinction between them is the amount of education required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, working as an interior designer necessitates 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 work or residential spaces functional as well as attractive. On various occasions they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Dadeville AL may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers normally concentrate 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 focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the main consideration.
There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, including color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui concepts, Dadeville AL interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
Interior Designer Degrees
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to acquire the training necessary to begin your new career in Dadeville AL. Your choice will undoubtedly be influenced by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in several states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum amount of education needed to enter the field. They take roughly two years to finish and programs are available at many Alabama trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that provide more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical facets of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced design training after achieving 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 advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are primarily for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are generally completed in three to five years.
In order to work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be required before a candidate can take the licensing exam.
Online Interior Design Classes
For those who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their Dadeville AL homes, there are accredited online interior design colleges. Studying online can be an excellent solution for those students that are working 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 some students online programs may be the only option if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Additional expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated also. Just make sure that the program you enroll in is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the dedication to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the right alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Designer Programs
Now that you have decided on the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of reviewing your school options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the campus must be within driving distance from your Dadeville AL home. Obviously if you have decided on attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will narrow down your options also. But picking the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you need to look at also, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are considering to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and subsequently select the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's important to confirm that the interior design program and college that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive assessment of their programs and instructors. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Dadeville AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, 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 in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required also. Therefore aside from furnishing an exceptional education, the Dadeville AL college you select should also furnish the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet 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 attained your interior design certification, you will probably want some help in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It may also signify that the college has a large network of Dadeville AL business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Dadeville AL colleges you are looking at and ask what type of assistance they offer. A number of interior designer colleges provide financial assistance to their new students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Dadeville AL programs you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Dadeville home, visit the campus and sit in on a couple of classes. While there speak with some students and ask 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 Fit your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior designer school you select provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Dadeville AL, make certain that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Find the Ideal Dadeville Interior Design College
Selecting the ideal interior design program is an important initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and gratifying profession. Searching for a college where you will obtain your education and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a daunting task no matter what field you have decided on. As with any endeavor to receive an advanced education, there are many factors to consider before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. However it is still essential that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the right final selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Dadeville AL.