How to Enroll in the Right Interior Designer Course Rogersville Alabama
Now that you have made a decision 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 talent for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's imperative that you obtain the proper training to put your talents to work. And since several states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's vital that you perform the proper research so that you can analyze and compare each school that you are looking at before you make your ultimate choice. But just where do you begin? Some prospective students will launch their research by looking for interior design courses near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are important variables when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into account as well. We will discuss those topics and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class choices are available.
Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Many people mistake interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The main distinction between the two is the amount of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or residential spaces attractive as well as functional. On some occasions they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are two general areas that an interior designer in Rogersville AL may 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, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers often concentrate predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary concern.
There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Rogersville AL interior designers employ a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
Interior Designer Degree Options
There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to receive the training required to launch your new career in Rogersville AL. Your decision will undoubtedly be motivated by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make certain to select 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 benefits of accreditation later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum amount of education needed to enter the field. They take about two years to complete and programs are available at many Alabama vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can normally obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that provide more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical components of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These two year programs provide advanced training in design after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer options in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are mostly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are generally completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be needed before a candidate can take the licensing exam.
Online Interior Designer Colleges
For students who to attend classes in the comfort of their Rogersville AL homes, there are online accredited interior design programs. Studying online can be a good option for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For many students online programs may be the sole option if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Additional costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the school you choose is accredited by a recognized 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 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 ideal alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Design Colleges
Now that you have selected the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of reviewing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the school has to be within driving distance from your Rogersville AL residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But selecting the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you need to consider also, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are considering to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and ultimately pick the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's essential to confirm that the interior designer program and school that you select has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. 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 gone through a demanding assessment of their instructors and programs. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. 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 obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Rogersville AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States mandating licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required as well. So aside from furnishing an outstanding education, the Rogersville AL college you select should also provide the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will no doubt need some help in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It could also indicate that the school has a substantial network of Rogersville AL business connections where they can place students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Contact the financial aid departments for the Rogersville AL colleges you are reviewing and find out what type of support they offer. Many of interior design schools offer financial aid to their new students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide help in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Rogersville AL programs you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Rogersville home, visit the school 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 philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior designer school you choose offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Rogersville AL, confirm that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Select the Right Rogersville Interior Design School
Choosing the ideal interior designer college is an important first step toward launching your career in this artistic and fulfilling occupation. Locating a college where you will receive your training and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a challenging task regardless of what field you have selected. As with any endeavor to receive an advanced education, there are a number of factors to think about before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the business. But it is still imperative that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Rogersville AL.