How to Pick the Right Interior Designer Course Sardis City Alabama
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design college near Sardis City AL, it's time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's imperative that you get the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers be 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 in order to assess and compare each program that you are considering before you make your ultimate selection. But where do you start? A number of future students will launch 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 decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation must be considered also. We will discuss those topics and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are researching 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 offered.
Interior Decoration vs Interior Design
Many people confuse interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The key difference between them is the level of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or living areas functional as well as attractive. On some projects they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are two broad categories that an interior designer in Sardis City AL may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any room of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers frequently focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the main consideration.
There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui principles, Sardis City AL interior designers employ a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to receive the training necessary to begin your new profession in Sardis City AL. Your choice will undoubtedly be driven by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, be sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in some states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum level of education needed to enter the field. They take roughly two years to complete and programs are offered at a number of Alabama vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that deliver more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical facets of the business needed to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These two year programs provide advanced design training after achieving the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide alternatives in specialty majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are primarily for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are normally completed in three to five years.
To work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be called for before an applicant can take the licensing examination.
Online Interior Designer Degree Programs
For students who to attend classes in the convenience of their Sardis City AL homes, there are online accredited interior design schools. Attending classes online can be a great option for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For many students online colleges may be the only alternative if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Additional costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the school you select is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the discipline to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the ideal option 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 task of analyzing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the college needs to be within commuting distance from your Sardis City AL residence. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But selecting the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to home are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other things that you need to consider also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a list of questions that you may want to address with the programs you are reviewing to get those answers in addition to others to help you examine and ultimately pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's important to verify that the interior designer school and program that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding assessment of their teachers and programs. Just make sure 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 college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it might also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Sardis City AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States mandating licensing, at least 2 years of occupational experience may be required also. So in addition to providing an outstanding education, the Sardis City AL college you select should also provide the proper training to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will probably need some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It may also signify that the school has a substantial network of Sardis City AL business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Sardis City AL schools you are reviewing and find out what kind of support they provide. A number of interior designer programs provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide help in securing grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Sardis City AL colleges you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Sardis City home, go to the school and monitor a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior design college you enroll in offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Sardis City AL, verify that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Find the Ideal Sardis City Interior Design College
Selecting the ideal interior designer program is a crucial first step toward launching your career in this artistic and gratifying occupation. Finding a college where you will obtain your training and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a difficult task regardless of what field you have chosen. As with any undertaking to attain an advanced education, there are a number of points to think about before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, verify that the design college and program are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. However it is still imperative that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Sardis City AL.