How to Choose the Right Interior Design Course Jemison Alabama
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design degree program near Jemison 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 imperative that you receive the proper training to put your talents to work. And since some states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's vital that you do the appropriate research in order to analyze and compare each school that you are looking at prior to making your final decision. But where do you begin? A number of prospective students will kick off their research by searching for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are relevant variables when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into consideration as well. We will cover those topics and other vital 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 training options are offered.
Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Often people mistake interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The key difference between them is the amount of training required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer requires formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or residential areas attractive as well as functional. On many occasions they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Jemison AL may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any room of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers frequently focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may focus more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.
There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, such as color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui principles, Jemison AL interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
Interior Designer Degrees
There are four degree options offered in interior design to get the training necessary to start your new profession in Jemison AL. Your choice will undoubtedly be motivated by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose 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) exam required in several states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum level of training needed to enter the field. They take approximately 2 years to finish and programs are offered at a number of Alabama trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that provide more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative aspects of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These two year programs provide advanced design training after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are primarily for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are typically completed in three to five years.
In order to work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be needed before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Colleges
For individuals who wish to study in the convenience of their Jemison AL homes, there are accredited online interior design degrees. Studying online can be a good solution for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For many students online colleges may be the only alternative if no interior design schools are within commuting 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 minimized or eliminated also. 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 programs may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the dedication to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the perfect option for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Designer Programs
After you have selected the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of reviewing your school options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your Jemison AL home. Obviously if you have decided on attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will decrease your options also. But picking the most affordable school or the one that is nearest to home are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other things that you need to look at as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. 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 in order to help you examine and ultimately pick the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's essential to verify that the interior design college and program that you select has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding assessment of their instructors and programs. Just make sure 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 education are exceptional, it may also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Jemison AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore aside from providing an excellent education, the Jemison AL college you select should also provide the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some help in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It might also signify that the college has a sizable network of Jemison AL business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Jemison AL schools you are looking at and ask what type of aid they provide. A number of interior designer programs offer financial assistance to their new students. Various schools provide partial scholarships and others provide support in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its counterparts 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 large, you probably will receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Jemison AL colleges you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Jemison home, visit the college and monitor a couple of classes. While there speak with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior designer school you enroll in provides classes the fit your busy 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 Jemison AL, make sure that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Find the Right Jemison Interior Design College
Selecting the right interior design school is an important first step toward starting your career in this creative and gratifying occupation. Searching for a college where you will receive your education and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting task no matter what major you have chosen. As with any undertaking to receive an advanced education, there are several points to think about before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, verify that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the field. However it is still imperative that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Jemison AL.