How to Find the Right Interior Designer School Morris Alabama
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design degree program near Morris AL, it's time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's essential that you obtain the right training to put your talents to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's very important that you do the appropriate research so that you can analyze and compare each program that you are reviewing before you make your final choice. But just where do you begin? Some future students will begin their research by looking for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are key issues when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to be considered as well. We will discuss those topics and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But first, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class choices are offered.
Interior Decoration vs Interior Design
Some people mistake interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The main distinction 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. On the other hand, working 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 work or residential areas attractive as well as functional. On many occasions they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are two general areas that an interior designer in Morris AL can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often 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 may specialize in designing one specific room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers normally concentrate 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 focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may focus more on functionality over looks as the main consideration.
There are numerous areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to 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 choosing carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Morris AL interior designers employ a wide range of skills that contribute to their final designs.
Interior Design Degrees
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to receive the training necessary to launch your new career in Morris AL. Your selection will no doubt be driven by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide 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 several states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum level of training needed to enter the field. They take approximately 2 years to complete and programs are offered at many Alabama trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four 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 lowest credential needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These two year programs supply advanced design training after acquiring the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer options 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 their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are primarily for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary in length but are typically completed in three to five years.
In order to work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.
Online Interior Designer Classes
For anyone wishing' to study in the comfort of their Morris AL homes, there are accredited online interior design schools. Studying online can be an excellent alternative for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For some students online schools may be the only alternative if no interior design schools 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 commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated also. Just be sure that the school you select 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 learning. If you have the dedication to obtain your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
When you have selected the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of analyzing your school options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the college must be within driving distance from your Morris AL residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending an online school, 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 choosing the least expensive school or the one that is closest to home are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you should consider also, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a few questions that you may want to address with the schools you are considering to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you assess and ultimately choose the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's imperative to confirm that the interior designer college and program that you select has earned accreditation from 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 receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive assessment of their teachers and programs. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are outstanding, it may also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Morris AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do mandate that interior designers get 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 school. And in several of those States mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore besides furnishing an excellent education, the Morris AL school you enroll in should also furnish the proper education to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with 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 need some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the colleges 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 esteemed within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It could also indicate that the school has a large network of Morris AL business connections where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Morris AL schools you are evaluating and find out what kind of support they offer. A number of interior designer programs offer financial assistance to their new students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide help in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Morris AL schools you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Morris home, visit the college and sit in on a few classes. While there talk with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior designer college you select provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Morris AL, confirm that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.
Choose the Right Morris Interior Design School
Picking the ideal interior design school is an important initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and fulfilling profession. Locating a college where you will receive your training and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a difficult job no matter what major you have decided on. As with any undertaking to receive a higher education, there are a number of things to think about before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, verify 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 remaining recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design programs so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Morris AL.