How to Pick the Right Interior Design Program Huguley Alabama
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer college 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 interiors, it's essential that you obtain the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's crucial that you carry out the appropriate research so that you can evaluate and compare each college that you are considering before you make your ultimate selection. But where do you start? Some prospective students will launch their research by looking for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are relevant variables when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to be considered also. We will address those issues and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are interested in 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
Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The primary difference between them is the level of training required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general 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 many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or living areas attractive as well as functional. On many projects they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are two general areas that an interior designer in Huguley AL can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any room of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers often concentrate predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the main consideration.
There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, for example lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From selecting 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 creations.
Interior Designer Degree Options
There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to obtain the training required to start your new profession in Huguley AL. Your choice will no doubt be motivated by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in a number of states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum level of training needed to enter the profession. They take about 2 years to finish and programs are available at numerous Alabama vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical aspects 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 two year programs furnish advanced design training after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer choices in specialty 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 primarily for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are usually completed in three to five years.
To work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Designer Online Colleges
For students who to study in the convenience of their Huguley AL homes, there are online accredited interior design schools. Studying online can be a good solution for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For many students online colleges may be the sole alternative if no interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Added expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated also. Just make certain that the school you choose 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 online or distance learning. If you have the dedication to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the right option for you.
What to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
Once you have selected the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of evaluating your school options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the school needs to be within commuting distance from your Huguley AL residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But selecting the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you need to consider also, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a few concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and subsequently choose the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's necessary to confirm that the interior designer college and program that you choose has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are outstanding, it might also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Huguley AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States requiring licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from providing an outstanding education, the Huguley AL school you choose should also provide the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination 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 attained your interior design certification, you will no doubt need some help in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It could also indicate that the school has a large network of Huguley AL business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Huguley AL schools you are reviewing and find out what kind of assistance they offer. A number of interior design programs provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain schools offer partial scholarships while others provide help in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Huguley AL colleges you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Huguley home, go to the campus and attend 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 Fit your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior design program you choose provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Huguley AL, confirm that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Select the Ideal Huguley Interior Design School
Selecting the ideal interior designer school is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding profession. Locating a college where you will receive your training and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a daunting task regardless of what field you have chosen. As with any undertaking to acquire an advanced education, there are many factors to think about before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the profession. However it is still essential that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design schools so that you can make the right final selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Huguley AL.