How to Enroll in the Right Interior Design School Rehobeth Alabama
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Rehobeth 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 essential that you obtain the appropriate training to put your skills to work. And since several states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it's vital that you carry out the proper research in order to analyze and compare each school that you are reviewing before you make your final selection. But exactly where do you start? Some prospective students will begin their research by searching for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are key factors when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into account as well. We will cover those issues and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But before we do, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class options are available.
Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Some people mistake interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The principal difference between them is the amount of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, doing business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make living or work spaces attractive as well as functional. On many occasions they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Rehobeth AL may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any room of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers often concentrate predominantly 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 emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the primary concern.
There are numerous areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, including lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui concepts, Rehobeth AL interior designers implement a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
Interior Designer Training Programs
There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to receive the training required to start your new profession in Rehobeth AL. Your decision will no doubt be motivated by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose 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) examination required in a number of states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum amount of training required to enter the field. They take about two years to finish and programs are available at numerous Alabama trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can typically obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that provide more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical components of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the minimum 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 design training after achieving the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer options in specialty majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are mainly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are usually completed in three to five years.
In order to work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be needed before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.
Online Interior Designer Schools
For those who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their Rehobeth AL homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Attending classes online can be a great option for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For many students online schools may be the only alternative if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make certain that the school you pick is accredited by a highly regarded 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 discipline to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the right option for you.
What to Ask Interior Design Colleges
When you have selected the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of evaluating your college options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the campus must be within driving distance from your Rehobeth AL residence. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will decrease your options as well. But picking the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other things that you need to look at as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are looking at to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you assess and ultimately pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's important to make sure that the interior design program and college that you select has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. 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 a rigorous assessment of their teachers and programs. Just make sure that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Rehobeth AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States mandating licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. So aside from providing an excellent education, the Rehobeth AL college you enroll in should also furnish the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will probably need some support in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It could also signify that the college has a significant network of Rehobeth AL business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Rehobeth AL colleges you are looking at and ask what type of aid they provide. A number of interior design colleges offer financial aid to their incoming students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide help in securing grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Rehobeth AL schools you are reviewing what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Rehobeth home, go to the campus and monitor a couple of classes. While there talk with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior design college you choose provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Rehobeth AL, verify that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Find the Best Rehobeth Interior Design College
Choosing the right interior designer program is an important first step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding occupation. Finding a college where you will receive your training and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting task no matter what major you have chosen. As with any undertaking to acquire a higher education, there are many points to consider before choosing a school, program, or course. At a minimum, verify that the program and design college are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. But it is still important that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design programs so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Rehobeth AL.