How to Pick the Right Interior Designer Program Huguley Alabama
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design degree program near Huguley AL, it's time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's important that you get the right training to put your talents to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's crucial that you perform the proper research in order to evaluate and compare each program that you are looking at before you make your ultimate selection. But exactly where do you begin? Many future students will kick off their research by searching for interior design colleges 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 only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into consideration also. We will cover those topics and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are interested in 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 choices are offered.
Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design
Some people mistake interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The main distinction between them is the amount of training required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in a number of 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 functional as well as attractive. On various projects they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are two broad categories that an interior designer in Huguley AL may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public areas, designers normally focus predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the main concern.
There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, including color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui principles, Huguley AL interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
Interior Design Degrees
There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to get the training needed to begin your new career in Huguley AL. Your selection will undoubtedly be influenced by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, be sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in several states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum level of education required to enter the profession. They take approximately two years to finish and programs are available at a number of Alabama vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that furnish more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative components of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest credential 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 alternatives in specialized majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are primarily for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be needed before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.
Online Interior Design Classes
For anyone wishing' to study in the convenience of their Huguley AL homes, there are online accredited interior design colleges. Studying online can be an excellent alternative for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. 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 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 expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the school you enroll in is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also obtain 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 school may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Design Programs
When you have chosen the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of reviewing your college options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the college has to be within driving distance from your Huguley AL home. Naturally if you are interested in attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will narrow down your choices also. But selecting the most affordable school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other things that you need to look at as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a few questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and subsequently pick the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the interior design college and program that you select has been accredited by either a national or regional 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 gone through a rigorous assessment 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 agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are excellent, it may also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Huguley AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do mandate 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 school. And in several of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore besides providing an outstanding education, the Huguley AL college you choose should also provide the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some support in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If yes, 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 students are in demand. It may also indicate that the college has a sizable network of Huguley AL business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Huguley AL colleges you are reviewing and ask what type of aid they provide. Many of interior designer schools provide financial assistance to their new students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide support in acquiring federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Huguley AL colleges you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Huguley home, visit the campus and monitor a few classes. While there talk with a few 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 Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior design program you select provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Huguley AL, make certain that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative as well. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Choose the Right Huguley Interior Design Program
Choosing the ideal interior designer school is a crucial initial step toward launching your career in this creative and rewarding occupation. Searching for a school where you will receive your education and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting job regardless of what major you have selected. As with any endeavor to acquire a higher education, there are several things to consider before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, make sure that the design college and program are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. However it is still imperative that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design programs so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Huguley AL.