How to Pick the Right Interior Design School Rogersville Alabama
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design degree program near Rogersville AL, it's time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's essential that you get the appropriate 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 exam also. So it's essential that you carry out the appropriate research in order to analyze and compare each school that you are looking at before you make your final choice. But just where do you start? 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 relevant variables when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into consideration as well. We will discuss those topics and other crucial questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class options are available.
Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design
Some people mistake interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The principal difference between them is the level of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, doing business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make living or work areas functional as well as attractive. On some occasions they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are two broad categories that an interior designer in Rogersville AL can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any area of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial areas, designers normally concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms 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 residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, including color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui principles, Rogersville AL interior designers implement a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
Interior Design Degrees
There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to acquire the training required to launch your new career in Rogersville AL. Your decision will undoubtedly be motivated by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, be sure to choose 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 addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum level of education needed to enter the field. They take approximately 2 years to complete and programs are offered at a number of 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 supply more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative aspects of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced design training after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are mostly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be called for before an applicant can take the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Schools
For students who to attend classes in the comfort of their Rogersville AL homes, there are online accredited interior design classes. Attending classes online can be a great alternative for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For many students online schools may be the sole alternative if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Added expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the school you select is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
When you have chosen the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of analyzing your school options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the college needs to be within commuting distance from your Rogersville AL home. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will decrease your choices as well. But picking the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to home are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other things that you should look at also, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are considering to get those answers in addition to others to help you compare and subsequently choose the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's essential to verify that the interior designer college and program that you choose has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment of their programs and instructors. Just make sure 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 verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are excellent, 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 employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, 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 requiring licensing, a minimum of 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. Therefore besides furnishing an excellent education, the Rogersville AL program you enroll in should also furnish the suitable education 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 School's Job Placement Rate? Once 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 considering if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its students are sought after. It could also signify that the college has a sizable network of Rogersville AL business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Rogersville AL colleges you are looking at and ask what type of support they offer. A number of interior designer programs provide financial aid to their new students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide support in securing federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate 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 programs you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Rogersville home, go to the school and sit in on a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior designer college you select offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Rogersville AL, verify that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Best Rogersville Interior Design Program
Choosing the ideal interior design program is an important first step toward starting your career in this artistic and rewarding occupation. Searching for a school where you will receive your education and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a challenging job regardless of what field you have decided on. As with any undertaking to acquire an advanced education, there are many factors to think about before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the field. However it is still imperative that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Rogersville AL.