How to Find the Right Interior Designer School Springville Alabama
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design school near Springville 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 interiors, it's important that you receive 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 training to pass a licensing examination also. So it's vital that you carry out the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each school that you are considering before you make your final selection. But where do you start? Some potential students will start their research by searching for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are key issues when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation need to be taken into consideration as well. We will discuss those issues and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But before we do, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class choices are offered.
Interior Decoration and Interior Design
Many people confuse interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The principal difference between the two 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, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates formal training 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 work or living areas attractive as well as functional. On many projects they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are two general areas that an interior designer in Springville AL can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers frequently concentrate primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.
There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui principles, Springville AL interior designers implement a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
Interior Design Degrees
There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to acquire the training required to launch your new career in Springville AL. Your selection will no doubt be motivated by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, be sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in several states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum level of education needed to enter the profession. They take approximately two years to complete and programs are available at numerous Alabama community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that deliver more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative aspects of the business required to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These 2 year programs furnish 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. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are mostly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be required before a candidate can take the licensing examination.
Online Interior Designer Classes
For individuals who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their Springville AL homes, there are accredited online interior design schools. Studying online can be an excellent option for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop 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 added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Added expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated also. Just make sure that the college you enroll in is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the dedication to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Programs
After you have selected the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of reviewing your college options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the college needs to be within driving distance from your Springville AL home. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will decrease your choices as well. But choosing the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you should consider also, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a list of questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are reviewing to get those answers in addition to others to help you examine and ultimately choose the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's essential to confirm that the interior design program and school that you choose has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive evaluation 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 organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are outstanding, it may also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Springville AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of 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 program. And in some of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required also. Therefore in addition to providing an excellent education, the Springville AL school you enroll in should also provide the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some support in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design trade and its students are sought after. It could also indicate that the college has a substantial network of Springville AL business connections where they can place students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Springville AL schools you are reviewing and find out what type of assistance they offer. Many of interior designer programs offer financial aid to their incoming students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide help in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited school 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 Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Springville AL programs you are considering what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Springville home, visit the campus and sit in on a couple of classes. While there talk with a few 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 Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior designer college you choose provides classes the fit your active 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 Springville AL, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Choose the Right Springville Interior Design College
Selecting the right interior design school is an important initial step toward starting your career in this creative and gratifying occupation. Finding a school where you will obtain your education and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a challenging job regardless of what major you have selected. As with any endeavor to attain a higher education, there are several points to think about before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the field. However it is still important that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Springville AL.