How to Pick the Right Interior Designer Course Fyffe Alabama
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design college near Fyffe AL, it's time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's important that you receive the proper training to put your talents to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's vital that you perform the proper research in order to assess and compare each school that you are considering before you make your ultimate decision. But exactly where do you start? Many prospective students will begin their research by looking for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are relevant factors when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation need to be considered as well. We will address those topics and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But before we do, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class options are offered.
Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration
Some people confuse interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The primary difference between them is the amount of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer requires formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or living spaces attractive as well as functional. On many occasions they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Fyffe AL can 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 can specialize in designing one specific room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers normally focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.
There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. They must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui principles, Fyffe AL interior designers implement a wide range of skills that contribute to their final designs.
Interior Designer Training Programs
There are four degree options available in interior design to receive the training necessary to launch your new career in Fyffe AL. Your choice will undoubtedly be motivated 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 decide to enroll in, make sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in some states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum amount of education required to enter the profession. They take about 2 years to finish and programs are offered 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 four year programs that furnish more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical facets of the business required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced training in design after achieving a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options 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 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 differ in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs 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 Designer Online Degree Programs
For individuals who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Fyffe AL homes, there are online accredited interior design colleges. Attending classes online can be a great solution for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For a number of students online schools may be the sole alternative if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Additional costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the college you choose is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the perfect option for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Programs
When you have selected the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of assessing your school options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the campus has to be within driving distance from your Fyffe AL home. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will narrow down your options also. But selecting the most affordable school or the one that is closest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other things that you need to look at also, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a few questions that you may want to address with the schools you are looking at to get those answers as well as others to help you examine and subsequently pick the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's imperative to confirm that the interior designer college and program that you select has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding 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 recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are excellent, it may also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Fyffe AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do require that interior designers become 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 several of those States requiring licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required also. Therefore besides furnishing an outstanding education, the Fyffe AL program you enroll in should also furnish the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some help in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It might also indicate that the school has a substantial network of Fyffe AL business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial aid departments for the Fyffe AL colleges you are reviewing and ask what kind of aid they offer. Many of interior design schools provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain schools offer partial scholarships while others provide help in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Fyffe AL programs you are reviewing what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Fyffe home, visit the campus and sit in on 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 styles are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior design school you enroll in offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Fyffe AL, make sure that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Choose the Best Fyffe Interior Design Program
Selecting the ideal interior designer college is a critical first step toward starting your career in this creative and fulfilling occupation. Locating a college where you will obtain your education and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a challenging job regardless of what major you have selected. As with any undertaking to receive a higher education, there are a number of factors to consider before selecting 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 imperative that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Fyffe AL.