How to Find the Right Interior Design Course Holtville Alabama
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Holtville 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 spaces, it's essential that you get the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's essential that you perform the appropriate research in order to analyze and compare each school that you are reviewing prior to making your final selection. But just where do you start? A number of prospective students will begin their research by searching for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are key issues when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation must be taken into consideration also. We will cover those topics and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But before we do, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are offered.
Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Some people confuse interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The main distinction between the two is the amount of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or living areas attractive as well as functional. On some occasions they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are two broad areas that an interior designer in Holtville AL can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any area of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers normally focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus 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, including lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Holtville AL interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
Interior Design Degrees
There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to obtain the training needed to begin your new career in Holtville AL. Your selection will no doubt be driven by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in some states. More will be discussed 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 supply the minimum amount of training required to enter the field. They take approximately 2 years to complete and programs are offered at numerous Alabama community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can normally obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical components 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 job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced training in design after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives 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 degrees are mostly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work as a professional and adopt 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 called for before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.
Online Interior Design Colleges
For those who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Holtville AL homes, there are online accredited interior design classes. Attending classes online can be an excellent option 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 laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For some students online schools may be the sole option if no interior design schools are within commuting 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 decreased or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the school you pick is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, 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 distance or online learning. 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 ideal alternative for you.
What to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
When you have selected the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of reviewing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the school must be within driving distance from your Holtville AL home. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But selecting the most affordable school or the one that is nearest to home are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you need to consider also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a few concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are looking at to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you compare and subsequently select the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's imperative to make sure that the interior design program and college that you select has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. 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 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 organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it might also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Holtville AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States calling for licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to providing an excellent education, the Holtville AL college you select should also furnish the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some support in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It could also indicate that the college has a significant network of Holtville AL business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Holtville AL schools you are looking at and ask what type of aid they provide. Many of interior design programs offer financial assistance to their new students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide support in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Holtville AL schools you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Holtville home, go to the school and sit in on a few classes. Take the opportunity to 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 Offered that Fit your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior designer school you enroll in offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Holtville AL, confirm that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.
Choose the Right Holtville Interior Design School
Selecting the right interior design school is a crucial first step toward starting your career in this artistic and rewarding occupation. Searching for a school where you will receive your training and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a difficult task no matter what field you have selected. As with any undertaking to receive a higher education, there are a number of points to consider before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design college are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. But it is still imperative that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design schools so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Holtville AL.