How to Choose the Right Interior Designer Course Guin Alabama
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Guin AL, it's time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's important that you get the proper training to put your talents to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's crucial that you carry out the appropriate research in order to analyze and compare each school that you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision. But just where do you start? A number of potential students will start their research by looking for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are relevant variables when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation need to be taken into consideration as well. We will cover those issues and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But before we do, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are offered.
Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design
Many people confuse interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The primary distinction between them is the amount of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, working as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make living or work spaces functional as well as attractive. On many occasions they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Guin AL can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any room of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public areas, designers often focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may focus more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.
There are numerous areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui principles, Guin AL interior designers implement a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
Interior Designer Training Programs
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to receive the training necessary to launch your new profession in Guin AL. Your selection will no doubt be driven by your career objectives as well as the money and time that you have to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in a number of states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum level of training required to enter the profession. They take about two years to complete and programs are available at many Alabama trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that provide more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative aspects of the business needed to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced design training after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer options in specialized majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mostly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are usually completed in three to five years.
In order to work as a professional 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 required before a candidate can take the licensing examination.
Online Interior Design Schools
For anyone wishing' to study in the comfort of their Guin AL homes, there are online accredited interior design programs. Studying online can be a great solution for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For a number of students online programs may be the only alternative if no interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Added expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the college you enroll in is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Design Schools
Now that you have decided on the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of analyzing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the college must be within driving distance from your Guin AL residence. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will limit your choices as well. But selecting the cheapest school or the one that is closest to home are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you should consider as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a few questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others to help you assess and subsequently pick the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the interior design program and college that you select has been accredited by either a regional or national 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 a rigorous assessment of their programs and instructors. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college 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 exceptional, it may also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Guin AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States calling for licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required also. So in addition to furnishing an excellent education, the Guin AL program you choose should also furnish the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination 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? Once you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It may also indicate that the school has a large network of Guin AL business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Guin AL colleges you are evaluating and ask what type of support they provide. A number of interior designer programs offer financial assistance to their new students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships while others provide help in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Guin AL colleges you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Guin home, visit the school and sit in on 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 credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior design program you choose offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Guin AL, verify that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Select the Best Guin Interior Design Program
Choosing the right interior design college is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this creative and gratifying profession. Searching for a college where you will receive your training and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a daunting task regardless of what field you have decided on. As with any endeavor to attain a higher education, there are a number of points to consider before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the business. However it is still essential that you carry out 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 programs so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Guin AL.