How to Choose the Right Interior Design Course Eutaw Alabama
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer college near Eutaw AL, it's time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's imperative that you obtain the appropriate training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it's vital that you do the appropriate research in order to analyze and compare each program that you are considering prior to making your final selection. But where do you start? A number of prospective students will begin their research by looking for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are important factors when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into consideration as well. We will cover those issues and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are looking at 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 available.
Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design
Often people confuse interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The principal difference between them is the level of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, working as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or living areas functional as well as attractive. On various occasions they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Eutaw AL can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any room of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial areas, designers often concentrate predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may focus more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.
There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, including color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui principles, Eutaw AL interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
Interior Designer Degrees
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to obtain the training needed to start your new career in Eutaw AL. Your decision will no doubt be influenced by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, make certain to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in several states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum level of education required to enter the profession. They take about two years to complete and programs are available at many Alabama community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can typically obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that furnish more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical components of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced design training after achieving the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer choices in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are largely for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are typically 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 schools become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be needed before a candidate can take the licensing exam.
Interior Designer Online Schools
For students who to attend classes in the comfort of their Eutaw AL homes, there are accredited online interior design colleges. Studying online can be a good option for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For many students online colleges may be the only option if no interior design schools are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Added expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the school you pick is accredited by a respected accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the dedication to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the perfect alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Design Programs
After 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 a critical issue, particularly if the campus has to be within driving distance from your Eutaw AL home. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will limit your choices as well. But choosing the cheapest college or the one that is closest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you need to look at also, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others to help you assess and ultimately pick the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's essential to confirm that the interior designer program and school that you choose has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding evaluation 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 recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Eutaw AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the Program 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 some of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required also. Therefore aside from furnishing an exceptional education, the Eutaw AL college you select should also furnish the proper training to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some help in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the college 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 sizable network of Eutaw AL business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Eutaw AL schools you are evaluating and ask what type of aid they provide. A number of interior design schools provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Some schools offer partial scholarships while others provide support in securing federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Eutaw AL programs you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Eutaw home, visit the school and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior design school you enroll in offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Eutaw AL, confirm that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative as well. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Select the Best Eutaw Interior Design College
Choosing the ideal interior design college is a crucial initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and rewarding occupation. Locating a school where you will receive your education and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a daunting job no matter what major you have chosen. As with any undertaking to attain a higher education, there are many points to consider before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, verify that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the profession. But it is still imperative that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design schools so that you can make the right final selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Eutaw AL.