How to Enroll in the Right Interior Designer Course Deatsville Alabama
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near Deatsville AL, it's time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's imperative that you receive the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it's very important that you carry out the proper research in order to analyze and compare each college that you are considering prior to making your final selection. But just where do you start? Many prospective students will start their research by searching for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are key issues when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into consideration also. We will address those issues and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But before we do, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are offered.
Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration
Some people confuse interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The primary difference between the two is the amount of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, working as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make living or work spaces functional as well as attractive. On many occasions they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Deatsville AL may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any area of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When working on public or commercial areas, designers often focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the main consideration.
There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, for example color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Deatsville AL interior designers implement a wide range of skills that contribute to their final designs.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to acquire the training required to launch your new career in Deatsville AL. Your selection will undoubtedly be motivated by your career objectives in addition to the money and time that you have to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, be sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in some states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum amount of training required to enter the profession. They take approximately two years to finish and programs are offered at many Alabama trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can usually obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that provide more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative components of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced design training after achieving the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialty 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. Doctorate programs are primarily for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be called for before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Degree Programs
For those who wish to study in the comfort of their Deatsville AL homes, there are online accredited interior design degrees. Attending classes online can be a great option for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For some students online programs may be the sole alternative if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Additional expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the program you choose is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, 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 education. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the right alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Design Colleges
Now that you have chosen the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of evaluating your school options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your Deatsville AL home. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But selecting the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to home are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other things that you should consider as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a list of questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are looking at to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and ultimately pick the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's imperative to confirm that the interior designer program and college that you select has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. 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 instructors and programs. Just verify 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 training are outstanding, it may also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Deatsville AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do require that interior designers get 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 college. And in some of those States calling for licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. So aside from furnishing an exceptional education, the Deatsville AL college you choose should also provide the proper education to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy 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 received your interior designer certification, you will no doubt need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It may also signify that the college has a sizable network of Deatsville AL business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial aid offices for the Deatsville AL colleges you are reviewing and find out what kind of support they offer. Many of interior designer programs provide financial aid to their incoming students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships while others provide help in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Deatsville AL colleges you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Deatsville home, visit the college and monitor a couple of classes. While there talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior designer school you choose offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Deatsville AL, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Enroll in the Best Deatsville Interior Design College
Selecting the right interior designer college is a crucial first step toward starting your career in this artistic and gratifying occupation. Locating a school where you will receive your education and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a challenging job no matter what major you have selected. As with any endeavor to attain a higher education, there are several factors to consider before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. But it is still imperative that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Deatsville AL.