How to Find the Right Interior Design School Lineville Alabama
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer college near Lineville AL, it's time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's imperative that you get the appropriate training to put your talents to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's very important that you carry out the appropriate research so that you can analyze and compare each college that you are considering before you make your ultimate selection. But where do you begin? A number of prospective students will kick off their research by looking for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are important factors when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation need to be taken into account also. We will cover those issues and other important 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 options are available.
Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration
Some people mistake interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The primary distinction between them is the amount of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. However, working as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or living spaces attractive as well as functional. On various occasions they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad areas that an interior designer in Lineville AL can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any room of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers often concentrate predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.
There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, for example color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Lineville AL interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
Interior Designer Training Programs
There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to obtain the training necessary to launch your new career in Lineville AL. Your selection will undoubtedly be motivated by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in a number of states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum level of education needed to enter the profession. They take approximately two years to complete and programs are offered at numerous Alabama vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can normally obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical components of the business required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential 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 training in design after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer options in specialty majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are mainly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are generally completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be called for before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.
Online Interior Designer Schools
For students who to study in the comfort of their Lineville AL homes, there are online accredited interior design programs. Attending classes online can be an excellent option for those students that are employed or have busy 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 some students online schools may be the only alternative if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Additional costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated also. Just make sure that the college you pick is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs 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 environment, then an online interior design school may be the perfect alternative for you.
What to Ask Interior Designer Schools
After you have decided on the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of assessing your school options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the school has to 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 qualifier. The expense for tuition will limit your choices also. But picking the most affordable school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other things that you should consider as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a list of questions that you may want to ask the programs you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you assess and ultimately pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's imperative to verify that the interior designer school and program that you select has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive assessment of their programs and instructors. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are excellent, it may also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Lineville AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, 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 college. And in some of those States calling for licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from furnishing an excellent education, the Lineville AL program you enroll in should also provide the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will probably want some support 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 indication that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It may also signify that the school has a significant network of Lineville AL business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Lineville AL schools you are reviewing and find out what kind of aid they provide. Many of interior design schools provide financial aid to their new students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide support in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Lineville AL programs you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Lineville home, go to the college and monitor a few classes. While there speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior design program you select offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you will 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 available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Pick the Best Lineville Interior Design School
Selecting the right interior designer school is a crucial initial step toward launching your career in this creative and gratifying profession. Finding a college where you will obtain your training and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a difficult job regardless of what field you have chosen. As with any undertaking to acquire a higher education, there are a number of points to consider before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the design college and program are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. But it is still important that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design programs so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Lineville AL.