How to Find the Right Interior Designer School Fyffe Alabama
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design college near Fyffe AL, it's time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's essential that you obtain the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's vital that you carry out the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each school that you are considering prior to making your final choice. But where do you start? Some potential students will begin their research by searching for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are relevant factors when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into account also. We will discuss those topics and other crucial questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are reviewing 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 and Interior Decoration
Some people confuse interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The main difference between them is the level of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, working as an interior designer requires a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make living or work areas functional as well as attractive. On many projects they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Fyffe AL may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any room of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers normally concentrate predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.
There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui principles, Fyffe AL interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
Interior Designer Degree Options
There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to receive the training necessary to start your new career in Fyffe AL. Your selection will no doubt be motivated by your career objectives as well as the money and time that you have to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in several states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum level of training required to enter the field. They take about 2 years to complete and programs are available at numerous Alabama community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical aspects of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced design training after acquiring a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide alternatives in specialty majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are largely for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are typically completed in three to five years.
To work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be called for before a candidate can take the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Classes
For students who to study in the convenience of their Fyffe AL homes, there are online accredited interior design schools. Studying online can be an excellent option for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For a number of students online programs may be the sole option if no interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an additional 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 certain that the college you choose is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools 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 environment, then an online interior design college may be the perfect option for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Design Programs
Now that you have decided on the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of reviewing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the campus must be within commuting distance from your Fyffe AL residence. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will narrow down your choices also. But choosing the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other things that you need to look at as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a few questions that you may want to ask the programs you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others to help you assess and subsequently select the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's imperative to verify that the interior design college and program that you choose has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding evaluation 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 recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are outstanding, it might also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Fyffe AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the Program Ready 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) examination as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. So besides providing an exceptional education, the Fyffe AL school you select should also furnish the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will probably need some support in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design field and its students are sought after. It could also signify that the school has a substantial network of Fyffe AL business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Fyffe AL colleges you are looking at and ask what type of aid they offer. Many of interior designer colleges provide financial assistance to their new students. Some schools offer partial scholarships while others provide help in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Fyffe AL colleges you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Fyffe home, go to the college and attend a few classes. While there talk with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior design school you choose offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Fyffe AL, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an option also. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.
Select the Ideal Fyffe Interior Design School
Choosing the right interior designer school is a critical initial step toward launching your career in this creative and fulfilling occupation. Locating a college where you will obtain your education and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting task regardless of what field you have decided on. As with any endeavor to acquire an advanced education, there are a number of things to consider before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. But it is still imperative that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with quality training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Fyffe AL.