How to Select the Right Interior Design College Huguley Alabama
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Huguley AL, it's time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's essential that you obtain the right 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 could need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it's crucial that you carry out the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each program that you are reviewing prior to making your final selection. But where do you start? Some prospective students will begin their research by searching for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are important issues when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into account also. We will cover those issues and other crucial questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class options are offered.
Interior Decoration and Interior Design
Many people confuse interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The key difference between them is the level of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, working as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or residential areas functional as well as attractive. On some projects they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Huguley AL can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with public or commercial areas, designers frequently concentrate predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.
There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. They have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui principles, Huguley AL interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
Interior Design Training Programs
There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to obtain the training necessary to start your new career 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 invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in several states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum level of training required to enter the profession. They take about 2 years to finish and programs are available at numerous Alabama trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can normally obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that supply more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with 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 supply advanced training in design after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer options in specialty majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mainly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are generally completed in three to five years.
To work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be required before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.
Online Interior Designer Degree Programs
For those 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 option for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For many students online programs may be the sole alternative if no interior design schools are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Added costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the program you select is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the right alternative for you.
What to Ask Interior Design Colleges
When you have selected the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of assessing your school options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the campus needs to be within commuting distance from your Huguley AL home. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will narrow down your options as well. But choosing the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you should look at as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a few questions that you may want to ask the programs you are considering to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you examine and subsequently select the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's necessary to confirm that the interior designer school and program that you select has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive evaluation of their programs and teachers. Just verify 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 excellent, it might also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Huguley AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some 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 program. And in several of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required as well. So aside from furnishing an outstanding education, the Huguley AL college you enroll in should also furnish the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its students are sought after. It could also signify that the college has a substantial network of Huguley AL business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial aid departments for the Huguley AL colleges you are reviewing and ask what type of support they provide. A number of interior design schools offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Various schools offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Huguley AL colleges you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Huguley home, visit the school and sit in on a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some 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 Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior designer program you choose offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Huguley AL, confirm that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Huguley Interior Design Program
Selecting the right interior design program is a crucial initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and gratifying profession. Finding a school where you will receive your education and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a challenging task regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any undertaking to receive an advanced education, there are many factors to think about before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly esteemed in the business. However it is still essential that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design programs so that you can make the right final selection. And with quality training and your determination to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Huguley AL.