How to Enroll in the Right Interior Design Program Luverne Alabama
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer school near Luverne AL, it's time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's imperative that you receive 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 could need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it's vital that you perform the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each college that you are reviewing prior to making your final selection. But exactly where do you start? Many future students will start their research by looking for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are important issues when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into consideration as well. We will address those topics and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training choices are available.
Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design
Some people mistake interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The key difference between them is the amount of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. However, conducting business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or residential areas attractive as well as functional. On some occasions they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Luverne AL can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any area of the home, 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 frequently focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the primary concern.
There are numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui concepts, Luverne AL interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
Interior Design Degrees
There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to get the training needed to begin your new profession in Luverne AL. Your selection will undoubtedly be motivated 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 opt to enroll in, be sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in some states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum amount of training needed to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to finish and programs are offered at a number of Alabama trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that deliver more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical aspects of the trade required 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 provide advanced design training after achieving the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide alternatives in specialized majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mainly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are normally completed in three to five years.
To work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be called for before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Colleges
For anyone wishing' to study in the comfort of their Luverne AL homes, there are accredited online interior design schools. Studying online can be a good alternative for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For some students online programs may be the only option if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Additional expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated also. Just make sure that the school you choose is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the perfect alternative for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Programs
Once you have selected the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of assessing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the college has to be within commuting distance from your Luverne AL residence. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will limit your options as well. But picking the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to home are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you should consider as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a few concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others to help you examine and subsequently choose the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's imperative to verify that the interior design program and school that you choose has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are outstanding, it might also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Luverne AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the School Prep 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 program. And in several of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required also. So in addition to furnishing an exceptional education, the Luverne AL college you enroll in should also furnish the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design field and its students are sought after. It might also indicate that the college has a sizable network of Luverne AL business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Luverne AL schools you are reviewing and ask what kind of support they offer. A number of interior design programs provide financial aid to their incoming students. Certain schools offer partial scholarships and others provide help in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Luverne AL programs you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Luverne home, go to the campus and monitor a few 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 Offered that Fit your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior designer school you enroll in provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Luverne AL, make certain that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.
Find the Best Luverne Interior Design School
Choosing the right interior designer college is a critical first step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding occupation. Finding a school where you will obtain your training and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a difficult task regardless of what field you have decided on. As with any undertaking to receive an advanced education, there are many points to consider before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. But it is still imperative that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design programs so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Luverne AL.