How to Enroll in the Right Interior Designer College Georgiana Alabama
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design college near Georgiana AL, it's time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's important that you obtain the appropriate training to put your talents to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's vital that you carry out the appropriate research so that you can analyze and compare each program that you are considering before you make your ultimate selection. But just where do you begin? Some potential students will start their research by looking for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are important variables when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into account as well. We will cover 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 alternatives are offered.
Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Often people mistake interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The key difference between them is the level of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. However, doing business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or residential areas attractive as well as functional. On some occasions they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are two broad areas that an interior designer in Georgiana AL can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any room of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public areas, designers frequently focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.
There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, such as color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Georgiana AL interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final creations.
Interior Design Degrees
There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to obtain the training necessary to launch your new profession in Georgiana AL. Your decision will undoubtedly be motivated by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, make certain to pick 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 discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum amount of education needed to enter the field. They take about 2 years to complete and programs are offered at numerous Alabama community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can typically obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical components of the business needed to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These two year programs supply advanced design training after acquiring a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialized majors for such things 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 mostly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be called for before an applicant can take the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Degree Programs
For those who wish to study in the comfort of their Georgiana AL homes, there are online accredited interior design degrees. Attending classes online can be a good solution for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For some students online schools may be the only alternative if no interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Added expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized 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 colleges may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the perfect alternative for you.
What to Ask Interior Design Colleges
Once you have chosen the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of reviewing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the college must be within commuting distance from your Georgiana AL home. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But picking the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you should consider as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a few concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others to help you assess and ultimately choose the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's imperative to confirm that the interior designer program and school that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive assessment of their programs and instructors. Just make sure 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 verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are outstanding, it may also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Georgiana AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, 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 school. And in some of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required also. Therefore in addition to furnishing an exceptional education, the Georgiana AL college you select should also furnish the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will probably want some help in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It might also indicate that the college has a substantial network of Georgiana AL business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Georgiana AL colleges you are reviewing and find out what kind of support they provide. A number of interior designer schools offer financial aid to their incoming students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide help in acquiring federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Georgiana AL colleges you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Georgiana home, visit the school and monitor a few classes. While there talk with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior designer college you select provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Georgiana AL, make sure that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Enroll in the Right Georgiana Interior Design College
Choosing the ideal interior design college is a crucial initial step toward starting your career in this creative and fulfilling occupation. Searching for a school where you will receive your education and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a challenging job regardless of what field you have decided on. As with any endeavor to receive an advanced education, there are a number of factors to think about before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. However it is still essential that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design schools so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Georgiana AL.