How to Choose the Right Interior Designer Course Graysville Alabama
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Graysville 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 receive the appropriate training to put your skills to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it's vital that you perform the proper research so that you can evaluate and compare each school that you are considering prior to making your final decision. But exactly where do you begin? A number of future students will start their research by searching for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are key issues when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation must be taken into account also. We will discuss those issues and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training options are available.
Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design
Many people mistake interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The key distinction between them is the level of education required. Any person 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 many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make living or work spaces attractive as well as functional. On many occasions they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are two broad categories that an interior designer in Graysville AL may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. 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 may specialize in designing one particular room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers frequently concentrate primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over looks as the main consideration.
There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, including color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Graysville AL interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final creations.
Interior Designer Degrees
There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to acquire the training necessary to launch your new career in Graysville AL. Your decision will undoubtedly be driven by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in several states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum level of education required to enter the profession. They take roughly 2 years to finish and programs are available at many Alabama vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can usually obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that deliver more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative aspects of the business required to become a designer. They are the minimum degree 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 design training after acquiring the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer choices in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mainly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary in length but are usually 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 schools become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be needed before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.
Online Interior Designer Schools
For anyone wishing' to study in the comfort of their Graysville AL homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Studying online can be an excellent solution for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For many students online colleges may be the only option if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Additional costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the program you pick is accredited by a respected accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the discipline to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the right alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Designer Programs
Once you have decided on the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of evaluating your college options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the school needs to be within driving distance from your Graysville AL residence. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will decrease your choices as well. But choosing the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you need to consider also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are looking at to get those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and subsequently choose the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's important to confirm that the interior design program and college that you select 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). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive 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 confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are outstanding, it might also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Graysville AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do mandate that interior designers get 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 school. And in some of those States calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from furnishing an outstanding education, the Graysville AL program you enroll in should also provide the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will probably need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It could also signify that the school has a substantial network of Graysville AL business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial aid departments for the Graysville AL colleges you are looking at and ask what kind of assistance they offer. A number of interior designer schools provide financial assistance to their new students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide support in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Graysville AL colleges you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Graysville home, go to the campus and sit in on a couple of classes. While there speak with a few 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 Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior design program you choose offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Graysville AL, make sure that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Choose the Best Graysville Interior Design Program
Selecting the right interior designer school is an important first step toward starting your career in this creative and gratifying occupation. Searching for a school where you will obtain your education 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 acquire an advanced education, there are several things to think about before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design college are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. However it is still imperative that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design schools so that you can make the right final selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Graysville AL.