How to Pick the Right Interior Designer Degree Program Frisco City Alabama
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer college near Frisco City AL, it's time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's imperative that you obtain the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's vital that you perform the proper research so that you can evaluate and compare each school that you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection. But where do you begin? Many prospective students will begin their research by searching for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are key issues when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation should be considered also. We will discuss those topics and other crucial questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But first, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class choices are available.
Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Often people mistake interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The principal difference between the two is the amount of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. However, working as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or residential spaces functional as well as attractive. On many projects they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad areas that an interior designer in Frisco City AL can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public areas, designers frequently focus predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over looks as the main concern.
There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, including lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui principles, Frisco City AL interior designers implement a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
Interior Design Degree Options
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to get the training needed to begin your new career in Frisco City AL. Your decision will no doubt be influenced by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in a number of states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum amount of education required to enter the field. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are available at many Alabama trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical components of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest credential 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 options in specialty majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are largely for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be required before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.
Online Interior Designer Degree Programs
For anyone wishing' to study in the convenience of their Frisco City AL homes, there are online accredited interior design degrees. Attending classes online can be an excellent option for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For a number of 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 conventional options. Additional expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated also. Just be sure that the program you enroll in is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges 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 structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the perfect option for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Schools
After you have chosen the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of reviewing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the school must be within commuting distance from your Frisco City AL home. Naturally if you are interested in 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 choosing the most affordable school or the one that is nearest to home are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you need to look at as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a list of questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are reviewing to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and ultimately choose the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's necessary to confirm that the interior designer college and program that you enroll in has been accredited by either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are excellent, it may also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Frisco City AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, 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 college. And in some of those States calling for licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore aside from furnishing an outstanding education, the Frisco City AL program you choose should also provide the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will probably need some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high 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 may also indicate that the school has a large network of Frisco City AL business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Frisco City AL colleges you are reviewing and ask what type of assistance they provide. A number of interior designer schools offer financial aid to their new students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide support in obtaining federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Frisco City AL schools you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Frisco City home, go to the school and sit in on a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior design school you choose provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Frisco City AL, verify that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Pick the Ideal Frisco City Interior Design Program
Choosing the ideal interior designer college is an important first step toward starting your career in this creative and fulfilling profession. Locating a school where you will receive your training and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a challenging task no matter what field you have decided on. As with any undertaking to attain an advanced education, there are a number of points to consider before enrolling in 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 imperative that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Frisco City AL.