How to Find the Right Interior Designer Program Lineville Alabama
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near Lineville AL, it's time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's imperative that you get the right training to put your talents to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it's vital that you carry out the proper research so that you can analyze and compare each college that you are reviewing before you make your final decision. But exactly where do you start? Many prospective students will start their research by searching for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are relevant variables when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation must be taken into consideration also. We will address those topics and other crucial 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 training options are offered.
Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration
Often people mistake interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The principal distinction between them is the amount of education required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, doing business as an interior designer requires formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make living or work areas attractive as well as functional. On various projects they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are two general areas that an interior designer in Lineville AL can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any room of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When working on public or commercial areas, designers normally focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over appearance as the main consideration.
There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui principles, Lineville AL interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final designs.
Interior Design Degrees
There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to receive the training needed to begin your new profession in Lineville AL. Your decision will no doubt be influenced by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, be sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in several states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum amount of training required to enter the field. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are available at numerous Alabama trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that supply more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical facets of the business required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced training in design after acquiring a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer choices in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mainly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work professionally and adopt 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 called for before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.
Online Interior Design Classes
For those who wish to study in the convenience of their Lineville AL homes, there are accredited online interior design degrees. Studying online can be an excellent solution for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For a number of students online colleges may be the sole option if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Additional costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated also. Just make sure that the program you pick is accredited by a recognized 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 discipline to obtain your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the right option for you.
What to Ask Interior Design Programs
When you have selected the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of assessing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the college must be within driving distance from your Lineville AL residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will limit your options as well. But picking the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to home are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you should look at as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a few concerns that you may want to address with the colleges you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you assess and subsequently choose the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's important to verify that the interior designer college and program that you enroll in has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive assessment of their teachers and programs. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are outstanding, it might also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Lineville AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States requiring licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. So in addition to furnishing an outstanding education, the Lineville AL program you select should also furnish the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the schools 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 an excellent indication that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It could also indicate that the school has a significant network of Lineville AL business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Lineville AL colleges you are looking at and find out what kind of aid they provide. Many of interior designer colleges provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Some schools provide partial scholarships while others provide support in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Lineville AL schools you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Lineville home, go to the college and monitor a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior design school you select provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Lineville AL, verify that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Ideal Lineville Interior Design Program
Choosing the right interior design school is an important first step toward launching your career in this artistic and fulfilling occupation. Searching for a school where you will obtain your education and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a difficult job regardless of what major you have decided on. As with any endeavor to acquire an advanced education, there are several things to think about before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the design college and program are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. However it is still essential that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design schools so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Lineville AL.