How to Enroll in the Right Interior Designer Course New Union Alabama
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design college near New Union AL, it's time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's essential that you obtain the proper training to put your talents to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's essential that you carry out the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each program that you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision. But just where do you start? A number of potential students will begin their research by searching for interior design courses near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are important variables when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation must be considered as well. We will cover those topics and other crucial 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 options are offered.
Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Some people confuse interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The principal distinction between them is the amount of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or residential spaces functional as well as attractive. On many occasions they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are two general areas that an interior designer in New Union AL may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers normally focus predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over appearance as the main consideration.
There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, including color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui concepts, New Union AL interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are four degree options offered in interior design to obtain the training required to start your new career in New Union AL. Your decision will undoubtedly be influenced by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in some states. More will be addressed 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 level of training required to enter the field. They take roughly two years to finish and programs are available at a number of Alabama vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical aspects of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced training in design after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide alternatives in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are largely for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are generally completed in three to five years.
In order to work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be called for before an applicant can take the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Degree Programs
For anyone wishing' to attend classes in the convenience of their New Union AL homes, there are accredited online interior design colleges. Studying online can be an excellent option for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For a number of students online schools may be the sole option if no interior design schools are within driving 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 decreased or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the program you pick is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the dedication to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the perfect alternative for you.
What to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
Once you have decided on the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the college has to be within commuting distance from your New Union AL residence. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will decrease your choices also. But choosing the most affordable college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other things that you should consider also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are looking at to get those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and subsequently select the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the interior designer program and school that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just make sure that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of New Union AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the School Prep 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) exam as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States calling for licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required also. So in addition to furnishing an outstanding education, the New Union AL school you enroll in should also provide the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some support in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It could also indicate that the school has a sizable network of New Union AL business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the New Union AL schools you are evaluating and find out what type of support they provide. A number of interior design colleges offer financial aid to their incoming students. Some schools provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in acquiring grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the New Union AL programs you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your New Union home, go to the college and monitor a few classes. While there talk with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior designer school you enroll in offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near New Union AL, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best New Union Interior Design College
Choosing the ideal interior design college is a crucial initial step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding profession. Locating a college where you will receive your training and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult job no matter what field you have decided on. As with any undertaking to receive a higher education, there are several points to consider before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design school 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 balance of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design programs so that you can make the right final selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in New Union AL.