How to Choose the Right Interior Designer Course Kinsey Alabama
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design degree program near Kinsey 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 essential that you obtain the proper training to put your talents to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it's very important that you perform the proper research in order to evaluate and compare each college that you are looking at before you make your ultimate choice. But just where do you begin? A number of potential students will kick off their research by looking for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are relevant factors when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into consideration also. We will discuss those issues and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are researching 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 options are available.
Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design
Often people mistake interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The principal distinction 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 spaces. However, doing business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make living or work spaces functional as well as attractive. On many projects they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are two broad areas that an interior designer in Kinsey AL may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers normally focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the primary concern.
There are numerous areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, such as lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui principles, Kinsey AL interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
Interior Designer Training Programs
There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to acquire the training needed to launch your new profession in Kinsey AL. Your selection will undoubtedly be driven by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, make certain to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in some states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum amount of training needed to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to complete and programs are available at numerous Alabama trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that provide more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical facets of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the minimum degree 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 a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are mostly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are normally completed in three to five years.
In order to work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be needed before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Schools
For individuals who wish to study in the comfort of their Kinsey AL homes, there are online accredited interior design classes. Attending classes online can be an excellent option for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For some students online programs may be the sole option if no interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Added expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the program you select is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also acquire 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 setting, then an online interior design school may be the right alternative for you.
What to Ask Interior Designer Schools
Once you have decided on the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the task of reviewing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the college needs to be within commuting distance from your Kinsey AL residence. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will decrease your choices as well. But choosing the most affordable school or the one that is nearest to home are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you should consider as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a list of questions that you may want to address with the programs you are reviewing to get those answers in addition to others to help you examine and ultimately select the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's important to make sure that the interior designer school and program that you enroll in has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive 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 confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Kinsey AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do require 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 college. And in several of those States calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required also. So in addition to providing an outstanding education, the Kinsey AL college you enroll in should also provide the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
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 assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its students are sought after. It might also indicate that the college has a sizable network of Kinsey AL business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial aid offices for the Kinsey AL colleges you are looking at and ask what type of assistance they offer. A number of interior design schools offer financial aid to their incoming students. Some schools offer partial scholarships while others provide help in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Kinsey AL schools you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Kinsey home, visit the school and monitor a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior design college you choose provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Kinsey AL, make sure that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Kinsey Interior Design College
Choosing the ideal interior design school is a crucial first step toward launching your career in this artistic and gratifying occupation. Finding a college where you will receive your training and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult task no matter what field you have decided on. As with any endeavor to acquire a higher education, there are several factors to think about before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, verify that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. But it is still important that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Kinsey AL.