How to Pick the Right Interior Designer School Deatsville Alabama
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer school near Deatsville AL, it's time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's imperative that you obtain the right training to put your skills to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it's vital that you carry out the proper research so that you can analyze and compare each program that you are reviewing before you make your ultimate choice. But where do you begin? Many potential students will launch their research by searching for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are important factors when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation should be considered as well. We will address those issues and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are researching 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 choices are offered.
Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration
Many people confuse interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The main distinction between the two is the level of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or residential spaces attractive as well as functional. On some projects they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad areas that an interior designer in Deatsville AL can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any room of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers often concentrate primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the primary concern.
There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, including color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui principles, Deatsville AL interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final creations.
Interior Designer Degree Options
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to obtain the training necessary to begin your new profession in Deatsville AL. Your decision will undoubtedly be influenced by your career objectives as well as the money and time that you have to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt 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) examination mandated 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. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum level of training needed to enter the field. They take approximately two years to finish and programs are offered at a number of Alabama community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can typically obtain 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 components 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 two year programs supply advanced training in design after acquiring a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialty majors in general areas such 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 primarily for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are typically completed in three to five years.
In order to work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate 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 examination.
Interior Designer Online Colleges
For students who to study in the comfort of their Deatsville AL homes, there are accredited online interior design schools. Attending classes online can be a good solution for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For some students online schools may be the sole option if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Added expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated also. Just make sure that the college you choose is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the dedication to obtain your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the right alternative for you.
What to Ask Interior Designer Schools
Once you have decided on the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of evaluating your college options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the campus must be within driving distance from your Deatsville AL residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will limit your options as well. But choosing the most affordable college or the one that is closest to home are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you need to look at also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a list of questions that you may want to address with the programs you are reviewing to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and subsequently select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's essential to confirm that the interior design school and program that you select has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive evaluation of their instructors 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 requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Deatsville AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do mandate that interior designers get 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 several of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore besides providing an exceptional education, the Deatsville AL program you choose should also furnish the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will probably need some support in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It might also signify that the school has a significant network of Deatsville AL business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Deatsville AL schools you are reviewing and ask what type of assistance they provide. A number of interior designer colleges provide financial assistance to their new students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide support in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classes? Smaller 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 Deatsville AL programs you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Deatsville home, visit the college and attend 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 approaches are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior designer school you choose offers 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 Deatsville AL, make certain that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Enroll in the Best Deatsville Interior Design College
Selecting the ideal interior design college is a crucial first step toward starting your career in this artistic and rewarding occupation. Finding a school where you will receive your education and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a difficult task regardless of what field you have selected. As with any undertaking to attain a higher education, there are several things to consider before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, confirm that the design college and program are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. But it is still important that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Deatsville AL.