How to Enroll in the Right Interior Design School Lillian Alabama
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design college near Lillian AL, it's time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's important that you obtain the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it's very important that you do the appropriate research so that you can evaluate and compare each school that you are reviewing before you make your final selection. But just where do you begin? A number of future students will kick off their research by searching for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are important factors when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into consideration as well. We will discuss those issues and other crucial questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are available.
Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design
Some people mistake interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The main distinction between them is the level of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or residential areas attractive as well as functional. On various projects they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Lillian AL may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any area of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers frequently concentrate predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.
There are numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, such as color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. They must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui concepts, Lillian AL interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that help bring about their final creations.
Interior Design Degree Options
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to receive the training needed to launch your new career in Lillian AL. Your decision will undoubtedly be influenced by your career objectives in addition to the money and time that you have to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, be sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in a number of states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum level of education needed to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to finish and programs are offered at many Alabama trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can typically obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative aspects of the business 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 2 year programs supply advanced design training after acquiring a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are primarily for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are normally completed in three to five years.
In order to work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be called for before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.
Interior Designer Online Colleges
For anyone wishing' to study in the comfort of their Lillian AL homes, there are online accredited interior design degrees. Studying online can be a great solution for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For many students online colleges may be the only option if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Additional expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the program you select is accredited by a respected accrediting organization, 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 online or distance learning. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Design Colleges
When you have decided on the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of analyzing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your Lillian AL home. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will decrease your choices also. But selecting the most affordable college or the one that is closest to home are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you need to consider also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a list of questions that you may want to ask the programs you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others to help you assess and ultimately choose the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's important to make sure that the interior designer program and college 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 a demanding assessment of their instructors and programs. 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 verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Lillian AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate 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 requiring licensing, a minimum of 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. So aside from providing an exceptional education, the Lillian AL college you enroll in should also furnish the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will no doubt need some support in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It may also indicate that the college has a significant network of Lillian AL business connections where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Lillian AL colleges you are looking at and ask what type of support they offer. A number of interior designer programs offer financial aid to their incoming students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide support in obtaining federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Lillian AL schools you are reviewing what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Lillian home, go to the campus and attend a few classes. While there talk with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior design program you select offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Lillian AL, verify that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Ideal Lillian Interior Design College
Choosing the right interior design college is a critical first step toward launching your career in this creative and gratifying profession. Finding a college where you will receive your training and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a challenging task regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to acquire an advanced education, there are several factors to think about before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. However it is still imperative that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Lillian AL.