How to Choose the Right Interior Designer Course East Brewton Alabama
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer school near East Brewton 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 important that you get 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 training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's very important that you do the appropriate research so that you can analyze and compare each school that you are considering before you make your ultimate selection. But exactly where do you begin? Some future students will kick off their research by looking for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are key issues when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation must be taken into account as well. We will cover those topics and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training choices are offered.
Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration
Many people mistake interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The key distinction between them is the level of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, doing business as an interior designer requires formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make living or work spaces functional as well as attractive. On some occasions they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in East Brewton AL may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers often focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.
There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui principles, East Brewton AL interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
Interior Design Training Programs
There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to obtain the training needed to begin your new career in East Brewton AL. Your choice will no doubt be motivated by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, make sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in some states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum level of education needed to enter the field. They take about 2 years to complete and programs are available at a number of Alabama community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can usually obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that deliver 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 credential needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These two year programs provide advanced training in design after achieving a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer choices in specialty majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mainly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are generally completed in 3 to 5 years.
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, two or more years of professional experience may be required before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Schools
For individuals who wish to study in the comfort of their East Brewton AL homes, there are online accredited interior design programs. Studying online can be a great alternative 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 convenient for the student. For many students online colleges may be the sole alternative if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Additional costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated also. Just make sure that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, 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 discipline to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the perfect alternative for you.
What to Ask Interior Design Programs
After you have selected the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of assessing your college options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the campus needs to be within commuting distance from your East Brewton AL home. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will limit your options also. But picking the cheapest college or the one that is closest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you should consider as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a few concerns that you may want to address with the colleges you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and ultimately pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's important to make sure that the interior design college and program 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). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just make sure that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of East Brewton AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools 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 necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States mandating licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore aside from providing an excellent education, the East Brewton AL program you choose should also provide the proper 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 designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some help in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask 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 profession and its students are sought after. It could also signify that the college has a sizable network of East Brewton AL business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Available? Contact the financial assistance departments for the East Brewton AL schools you are reviewing and ask what kind of assistance they offer. A number of interior design colleges offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide support in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the East Brewton AL programs you are considering what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your East Brewton home, go to the school and sit in on a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some 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? Last, confirm that the interior design program you select provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near East Brewton AL, confirm that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Pick the Right East Brewton Interior Design School
Selecting the ideal interior design school is an important initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and fulfilling profession. Searching for a school where you will obtain your training and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult job no matter what major you have selected. As with any endeavor to acquire an advanced education, there are many things to think about before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the business. But it is still essential that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design programs so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with quality training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in East Brewton AL.