How to Choose the Right Interior Designer School Frisco City Alabama
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design college near Frisco City AL, it's time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's imperative that you receive the right training to put your talents to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it's crucial that you do the proper research so that you can analyze and compare each college that you are considering prior to making your ultimate choice. But where do you start? Many future students will begin their research by looking for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are important variables when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into account as well. We will discuss those issues and other vital 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 alternatives are available.
Interior Decoration and Interior Design
Some people mistake interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The primary difference between the two is the amount of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. However, doing business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or living spaces functional as well as attractive. On many projects they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Frisco City AL can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any room of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers normally concentrate predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.
There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, such as lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui principles, Frisco City AL interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
Interior Design Degree Options
There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to obtain the training needed to start your new career in Frisco City AL. Your decision will undoubtedly be driven by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, make sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in a number of states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum amount of education needed to enter the field. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are offered at many Alabama trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical aspects 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 furnish advanced training in design after achieving a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide alternatives 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. Doctoral programs are mainly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are generally completed in three to five years.
In order to work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be needed before an applicant can take the licensing examination.
Interior Designer Online Schools
For anyone wishing' to study in the convenience of their Frisco City AL homes, there are online accredited interior design programs. Attending classes online can be an excellent solution for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For a number of students online colleges may be the sole alternative if no interior design schools are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Additional expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just make certain 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 programs may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the dedication to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Programs
When you have chosen the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of evaluating your college options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your Frisco City AL home. Naturally if you have decided on attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But picking the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to home are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you should look at as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Below are a few questions that you may want to ask the programs you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you compare and ultimately pick the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's necessary to verify that the interior design college and program that you select has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. 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 assessment of their teachers and programs. Just confirm 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 confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Frisco City AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of 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 college. And in several of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from providing an outstanding education, the Frisco City AL college you enroll in should also provide the proper education to pass the NCIDQ examination 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? After you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will probably need some help in finding your first position. 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 an excellent indication that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It might also signify that the college has a sizable network of Frisco City AL business connections where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Frisco City AL schools you are looking at and find out what type of aid they provide. Many of interior design programs offer financial aid to their incoming students. Various schools provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Frisco City AL schools you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Frisco City home, visit the school and attend 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 backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior designer program you enroll in provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Frisco City AL, make certain that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Choose the Ideal Frisco City Interior Design Program
Picking the right interior designer college is a critical first step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding occupation. Locating a college where you will receive your education and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a challenging task no matter what field you have selected. As with any undertaking to acquire a higher education, there are several points to think about before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, verify that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the field. However it is still essential that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design schools so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Frisco City AL.