How to Enroll in the Right Interior Design School Rogersville Alabama
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Rogersville 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 important that you obtain the appropriate training to put your talents to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's vital that you carry out the appropriate research so that you can evaluate and compare each school that you are looking at before you make your final decision. But exactly where do you begin? Many prospective students will kick off their research by searching for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are important variables when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation need to be considered also. We will address those issues and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are reviewing 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 Design vs Interior Decoration
Often people confuse interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The main difference between them is the level of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. However, working as an interior designer requires formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make living or work areas attractive as well as functional. On many projects they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Rogersville AL may 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, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public areas, designers normally concentrate primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over looks as the main consideration.
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 use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui concepts, Rogersville AL interior designers employ a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
Interior Design Degree Programs
There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to receive the training required to launch your new career in Rogersville AL. Your choice will undoubtedly be influenced by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose 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 discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum amount of training needed to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to finish and programs are offered at numerous Alabama vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that furnish more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative facets of the business 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 supply advanced training in design after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are mainly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are typically completed in three to five years.
To work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be called for before a candidate can take the licensing exam.
Online Interior Designer Schools
For those who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their Rogersville AL homes, there are online accredited interior design programs. Studying online can be a good option for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make going to 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 only alternative if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Additional expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make sure that the school you choose is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the right alternative for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
After you have chosen the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of reviewing your school options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the school needs to be within commuting distance from your Rogersville AL residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will limit your choices also. But selecting the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you should consider also, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are considering to get those answers in addition to others to help you examine and subsequently pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's imperative to make sure that the interior design program and college that you choose has been accredited by 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 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 recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are outstanding, it might also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Rogersville AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required as well. So aside from furnishing an excellent education, the Rogersville AL school you select should also furnish the proper education to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will probably need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It could also indicate that the school has a substantial network of Rogersville AL business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Rogersville AL colleges you are reviewing and ask what type of support they offer. Many of interior designer colleges provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in acquiring federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Rogersville AL schools you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Rogersville home, go to the college and attend a couple of classes. While there talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior designer college you select provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Rogersville AL, make sure that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Pick the Ideal Rogersville Interior Design College
Selecting the ideal interior design school is a crucial initial step toward launching your career in this creative and fulfilling profession. Locating a college where you will obtain your training and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a difficult job regardless of what major you have decided on. As with any endeavor to attain an advanced education, there are a number of points to consider before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, make sure that the design college and program are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. However it is still essential that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Rogersville AL.