How to Select the Right Interior Design Program Huguley Alabama
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Huguley 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 essential that you obtain the appropriate training to put your skills to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's essential that you perform the proper research so that you can analyze and compare each program that you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision. But just where do you start? Some prospective students will begin their research by looking for interior design courses near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are important issues when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to be considered as well. We will address those issues and other crucial questions that you must ask 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 class alternatives are offered.
Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Often people confuse interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The main 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, doing business as an interior designer requires formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or living areas functional as well as attractive. On some projects they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are two broad areas that an interior designer in Huguley AL may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any room of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public areas, designers often concentrate predominantly 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 focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may focus more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.
There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, including color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui principles, Huguley AL interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final creations.
Interior Designer Degree Options
There are four degree options offered in interior design to obtain the training necessary to start your new profession in Huguley AL. Your decision will no doubt be motivated by your career objectives in addition to the money and time that you have to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in a number of states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum level of education needed to enter the field. They take approximately 2 years to complete and programs are available at a number of Alabama vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that supply more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative components of the business required 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 provide advanced design training after acquiring the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialized majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are mainly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be needed before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.
Online Interior Design Colleges
For individuals who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their Huguley AL homes, there are accredited online interior design programs. Attending classes online can be an excellent solution for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For many students online colleges may be the sole alternative if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Additional costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the college you select is accredited by a highly regarded 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 distance or online education. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the perfect option for you.
What to Ask Interior Design Programs
After you have chosen the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the task of assessing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the campus needs to be within driving distance from your Huguley AL home. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will limit your choices also. But selecting the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to home are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you should look at also, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a few questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are considering to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you examine and ultimately select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's important to confirm that the interior designer program and college that you choose has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are excellent, it may also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Huguley AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do mandate that interior designers become 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 program. And in some of those States calling for licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required also. So aside from furnishing an excellent education, the Huguley AL college you choose should also provide the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will no doubt need some help in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It could also signify that the school has a large network of Huguley AL business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial aid departments for the Huguley AL schools you are looking at and ask what type of aid they provide. A number of interior designer schools offer financial assistance to their new students. Some schools offer partial scholarships and others provide help in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that choosing 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 offer more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Huguley AL programs you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Huguley home, visit the campus and monitor a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior designer program you select offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Huguley AL, verify that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Find the Ideal Huguley Interior Design School
Choosing the ideal interior design program is a critical first step toward starting your career in this artistic and rewarding profession. Finding a college where you will obtain your training and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a daunting job regardless of what major you have selected. As with any endeavor to acquire an advanced education, there are a number of points to consider before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, verify that the design college and program are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. However it is still important that you conduct your due diligence research. 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 right final selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Huguley AL.