How to Find the Right Interior Designer School Indian Springs Village Alabama
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design school near Indian Springs Village AL, it's time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's important that you receive the right training to put your talents to work. And since some states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it's vital that you perform the appropriate research in order to evaluate and compare each school that you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection. But where do you begin? Many prospective students will launch their research by searching for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are relevant factors when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation must be taken into account 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 cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training choices are offered.
Interior Decoration and Interior Design
Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The primary difference between them is the amount of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, 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 functional as well as attractive. On some projects they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are two broad areas that an interior designer in Indian Springs Village AL can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any room of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers normally focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might concentrate more on functionality over looks as the main consideration.
There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui principles, Indian Springs Village AL interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
Interior Design Degree Options
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to obtain the training necessary to launch your new profession in Indian Springs Village AL. Your choice will no doubt be influenced by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, make certain to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in several states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum level of education required to enter the field. They take roughly 2 years to finish and programs are available at many Alabama vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can typically obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that supply more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative aspects of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced design training after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialty majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mostly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are typically 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 some instances, two or more years of field experience may be needed before a candidate can take the licensing examination.
Interior Designer Online Classes
For anyone wishing' to study in the comfort of their Indian Springs Village AL homes, there are accredited online interior design degrees. Attending classes online can be an excellent solution for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For many students online programs may be the only alternative if no interior design schools are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Additional expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated also. Just make sure that the program 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 earn 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 structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the right option for you.
What to Ask Interior Design Programs
After you have decided on the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of analyzing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the school has to be within commuting distance from your Indian Springs Village AL home. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will limit your options also. But choosing the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you should consider also, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a few questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and subsequently choose the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the interior designer college and program that you select has been accredited by either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving 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 establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are excellent, it might also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Indian Springs Village AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some 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 school. And in some of those States calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore besides furnishing an excellent education, the Indian Springs Village AL program you select should also furnish the proper education to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some support in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job placement 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 held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It may also signify that the school has a substantial network of Indian Springs Village AL business connections where they can place students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Indian Springs Village AL colleges you are reviewing and find out what kind of aid they provide. A number of interior design programs provide financial aid to their new students. Some schools provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in obtaining federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Indian Springs Village AL programs you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Indian Springs Village home, go to the college and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak 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? Last, verify that the interior design school you choose offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Indian Springs Village AL, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Find the Ideal Indian Springs Village Interior Design Program
Choosing the right interior design college is a crucial initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and gratifying profession. Locating a college where you will receive your training and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a daunting job no matter what field you have decided on. As with any undertaking to attain a higher education, there are several things to consider before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. But it is still essential that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions presented 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 quality training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Indian Springs Village AL.