How to Find the Right Interior Design Course Eutaw Alabama
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Eutaw AL, it's time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's important that you obtain the appropriate training to put your skills to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's essential that you perform the proper research so that you can assess and compare each college that you are reviewing before you make your ultimate selection. But just where do you begin? A number of prospective students will begin their research by looking for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are important issues when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to be considered as well. We will cover those topics and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training options are available.
Interior Decoration vs Interior Design
Some people confuse interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The principal distinction between them is the level of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, working as an interior designer requires formal training 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 various occasions they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are two broad categories 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 area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers frequently concentrate primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal 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 hospitals and banks might concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.
There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Eutaw AL interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that help bring about their final designs.
Interior Designer Degrees
There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to obtain the training required to launch your new profession in Eutaw AL. Your decision will no doubt be motivated by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide 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) exam mandated in a number of states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum amount of training needed to enter the field. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are available at numerous Alabama community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative components of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced training in design after acquiring the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide 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 degrees are primarily for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are typically completed in three to five years.
To work as a professional 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 an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.
Online Interior Designer Schools
For anyone wishing' to attend classes in the comfort of their Eutaw AL homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Studying online can be a good alternative 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 practical for the student. For some students online colleges may be the sole alternative if no interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Additional expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated also. Just make certain that the college you choose is accredited by a respected accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the discipline to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Design Schools
After you have decided on the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of evaluating your college options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the school must be within commuting distance from your Eutaw AL home. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will narrow down your choices also. But picking the most affordable college or the one that is closest to home are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you should look at also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a few questions that you may want to address with the schools you are reviewing to get those answers in addition to others to help you assess and ultimately select the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's imperative to verify that the interior designer school and program that you select has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous assessment of their instructors and programs. 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 school and the quality of the education are outstanding, it might also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Eutaw AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. So in addition to furnishing an excellent education, the Eutaw AL college you choose should also furnish the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will no doubt need some help in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its students are sought after. It might also signify that the college has a sizable network of Eutaw AL business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Eutaw AL colleges you are reviewing and find out what kind of aid they offer. Many of interior design programs provide financial assistance to their new students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide help in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive limited individual attention 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, go to the campus and sit in on a few classes. While there speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior design program you enroll in offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Eutaw AL, confirm that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Find the Right Eutaw Interior Design College
Choosing the ideal interior design college is a critical initial step toward launching your career in this creative and rewarding profession. Searching for a college where you will obtain your education and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a challenging task regardless of what major you have selected. As with any undertaking to attain a higher education, there are several points to think about before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, verify that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the business. However it is still important that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Eutaw AL.