How to Choose the Right Interior Designer Course New Brockton Alabama
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design degree program near New Brockton AL, it's time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's imperative that you obtain the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's essential that you perform the appropriate research in order to evaluate and compare each college that you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection. But just where do you start? Some potential students will launch their research by searching for interior design courses near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are relevant factors when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation must be taken into account also. We will cover 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 cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class options are offered.
Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Many people mistake interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The principal difference between the two is the level of training required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, doing business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education 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 living or work spaces functional as well as attractive. On various occasions they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in New Brockton AL may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers frequently concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.
There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, for example lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui concepts, New Brockton AL interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final creations.
Interior Designer Training Programs
There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to receive the training needed to launch your new career in New Brockton AL. Your selection will undoubtedly be influenced by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in several states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum level of education needed to enter the field. They take approximately two years to complete and programs are available at many Alabama trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can normally obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that provide more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical components of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced training in design after achieving the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives in specialized majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mostly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are typically completed in three to five years.
In order to work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be called for before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.
Interior Designer Online Colleges
For students who to study in the comfort of their New Brockton AL homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Studying online can be an excellent solution for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For some students online schools may be the sole alternative if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Added costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated also. Just make sure that the college you select is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online 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 right alternative for you.
What to Ask Interior Design Schools
After you have selected the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of evaluating your school options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the college needs to be within commuting distance from your New Brockton AL home. Obviously if you have decided on attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will limit your options as well. But choosing the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you need to look at also, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are looking at to obtain those answers as well as others to help you assess and subsequently pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's necessary to make sure that the interior designer college and program 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). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive assessment of their teachers and programs. Just make sure 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 confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of New Brockton AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do mandate that interior designers get 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 school. And in some of those States calling for licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required also. So aside from furnishing an outstanding education, the New Brockton AL program you select should also provide the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some help in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It might also signify that the college has a sizable network of New Brockton AL business connections where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the New Brockton AL schools you are looking at and find out what kind of support they provide. Many of interior design programs offer financial aid to their new students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships and others provide support in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the New Brockton AL colleges you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your New Brockton home, visit the school and sit in on a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior design school you enroll in offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near New Brockton AL, make sure that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Pick the Ideal New Brockton Interior Design Program
Picking the ideal interior designer school is an important first step toward launching your career in this creative and gratifying occupation. Locating a school where you will obtain your training and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a daunting task regardless of what field you have selected. As with any undertaking to attain a higher education, there are a number of things to think about before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the field. But it is still important that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design programs so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in New Brockton AL.