How to Find the Right Interior Designer Program Rogersville Alabama
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near Rogersville AL, it's time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's essential that you get the right training to put your talents to work. And since some states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's very important that you perform the proper research so that you can assess and compare each school that you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision. But exactly where do you begin? A number of potential students will kick off their research by searching for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are important issues when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation need to be taken into account also. We will discuss those issues and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training options are available.
Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design
Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The key distinction between them is the amount of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, working as an interior designer requires 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 trained to make work or residential areas functional as well as attractive. On various projects they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are two broad categories that an interior designer in Rogersville AL can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any area of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers frequently focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may focus more on functionality over appearance as the main consideration.
There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, including lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui concepts, Rogersville AL interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final designs.
Interior Design Degree Programs
There are four degree options offered in interior design to obtain the training needed to begin your new career in Rogersville AL. Your selection will undoubtedly be driven by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make certain to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in several states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum level of education required to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to finish and programs are offered at numerous Alabama trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that supply more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative components of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These two year programs supply advanced training in design after achieving the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options 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. Doctoral degrees are primarily for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are normally completed in three to five years.
In order to work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be required before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Designer Online Classes
For those who wish to study in the convenience of their Rogersville AL homes, there are online accredited interior design degrees. Studying online can be an excellent solution for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For many students online programs may be the only alternative if no interior design schools are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Added costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the program you select is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the ideal alternative for you.
What to Ask Interior Designer Schools
Once you have selected the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the school needs to be within driving distance from your Rogersville AL residence. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will decrease your options as well. But choosing the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you need to look at also, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are reviewing to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and subsequently choose the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's important to verify that the interior design program and school that you choose has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are excellent, it may also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Rogersville AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do mandate that interior designers become 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 school. And in some of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. So aside from furnishing an excellent education, the Rogersville AL program you choose should also furnish the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It could also signify that the school has a substantial network of Rogersville AL business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial aid offices for the Rogersville AL schools you are reviewing and find out what type of support they offer. A number of interior design schools offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Rogersville AL colleges you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Rogersville home, visit the school and monitor a couple of classes. While there talk with some students and ask 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 Fit your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior designer program you enroll in offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Rogersville AL, confirm that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Find the Ideal Rogersville Interior Design College
Selecting the right interior design school is a crucial initial step toward launching your career in this creative and fulfilling profession. Locating a college where you will receive your education and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a daunting job no matter what field you have decided on. As with any undertaking to attain an advanced education, there are many points to think about before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the design college and program are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. But it is still essential that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design programs so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Rogersville AL.