How to Choose the Right Interior Designer School Rehobeth Alabama
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer college near Rehobeth AL, it's time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's important that you receive the right training to put your skills to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers be 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 considering before you make your final selection. But where do you start? A number of prospective students will begin their research by looking for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are important factors when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation need to be taken into account as well. We will cover those issues and other vital questions that you must ask 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 choices are available.
Interior Decoration and Interior Design
Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The principal distinction between them is the level of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, working as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make living or work areas attractive as well as functional. On various occasions they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Rehobeth AL can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any room of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with public or commercial areas, designers often focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.
There are numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, including lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. They must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui principles, Rehobeth AL interior designers implement a wide range of skills that contribute to their final designs.
Interior Design Training Programs
There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to receive the training required to begin your new career in Rehobeth AL. Your decision will no doubt be driven by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in some states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum level of training needed to enter the profession. They take approximately 2 years to finish and programs are offered at a number of Alabama community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that supply more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical aspects of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student 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 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 the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are mainly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be needed before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.
Online Interior Designer Colleges
For those who wish to study in the convenience of their Rehobeth AL homes, there are online accredited interior design programs. Attending classes online can be a great solution for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For some students online schools may be the sole option if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Added expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated also. Just make sure that the program you select is accredited by a respected accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also receive 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 school may be the right alternative for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Schools
After you have selected the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of analyzing your school options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the college must be within commuting distance from your Rehobeth AL residence. Naturally 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 cost of tuition will limit your choices also. But picking 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 issues that you need to look at as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a list of questions that you may want to address with the schools you are looking at to get those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and ultimately choose the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's important to make sure that the interior design program and college that you enroll in has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding evaluation of their programs and teachers. Just verify that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are excellent, it may also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Rehobeth AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States calling for licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required as well. So besides furnishing an excellent education, the Rehobeth AL program you choose should also furnish the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will probably need some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its students are sought after. It may also signify that the school has a substantial network of Rehobeth AL business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Rehobeth AL schools you are looking at and ask what type of aid they provide. Many of interior designer schools provide financial aid to their incoming students. Certain schools offer partial scholarships while others provide help in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. Often 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 intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Rehobeth AL programs you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Rehobeth home, go to the campus and attend a couple of classes. While there speak with some students and ask 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 Fit your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior designer school you select offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Rehobeth AL, make certain that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Select the Best Rehobeth Interior Design Program
Selecting the ideal interior design college is an important first step toward launching your career in this creative and rewarding occupation. Locating a school where you will obtain your training and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting task regardless of what major you have decided on. As with any undertaking to attain an advanced education, there are a number of factors to consider before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. However it is still important that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design schools so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Rehobeth AL.