How to Select the Right Interior Designer Program Rehobeth Alabama
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design degree program near Rehobeth AL, it's time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's imperative that you receive the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's essential that you carry out the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each school that you are looking at before you make your final decision. But just where do you begin? Many potential students will start their research by searching for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are key issues when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into consideration also. We will discuss those topics and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class alternatives are offered.
Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Often people confuse interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The principal difference between them is the level of education required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, doing business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make living or work spaces functional as well as attractive. On some projects they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad areas that an interior designer in Rehobeth AL can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers normally focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.
There are numerous areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to 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 produce their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui concepts, Rehobeth AL interior designers implement a wide range of skills that help bring about their final designs.
Interior Designer Training Programs
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to acquire the training needed to launch your new profession in Rehobeth AL. Your choice will no doubt be motivated by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed 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 explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum amount of training needed to enter the profession. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are offered at a number of Alabama community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that provide 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 minimum credential needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced training in design after acquiring the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer options in specialty majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mostly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited schools 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 Design Degree Programs
For individuals who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Rehobeth AL homes, there are online accredited interior design schools. Attending classes online can be a great alternative 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 practical 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 expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the school you choose is accredited by a respected accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Design Programs
After you have decided on the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of evaluating your college options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the school must be within commuting distance from your Rehobeth AL residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will narrow down your choices also. But choosing the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you should consider also, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are looking at to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and subsequently choose the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's necessary to verify that the interior designer college and program that you select has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous evaluation of their programs and teachers. 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 confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are exceptional, it may also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Rehobeth AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States calling for licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required also. Therefore aside from furnishing an excellent education, the Rehobeth AL program you enroll in should also furnish the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will probably want some help in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its graduates are in demand. It could also indicate that the college has a sizable network of Rehobeth AL business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Rehobeth AL schools you are looking at and find out what kind of support they provide. A number of interior design programs provide financial aid to their new students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide help in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Rehobeth AL colleges you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Rehobeth home, visit the college and sit in on a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior designer program you choose offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Rehobeth AL, confirm that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Select the Right Rehobeth Interior Design College
Choosing the right interior designer program is a critical initial step toward launching your career in this creative and rewarding profession. Finding a school where you will obtain your training and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a challenging task no matter what major you have decided on. As with any undertaking to attain an advanced education, there are many things to think about before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, check that the design college and program are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. However it is still essential 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 properly evaluate and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with quality training and your determination to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Rehobeth AL.