How to Select the Right Interior Designer Course Stewartville Alabama
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design degree program near Stewartville AL, it's time to start the process of selecting 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 skills to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's crucial that you do the proper research so that you can analyze and compare each college that you are looking at before you make your final decision. But exactly where do you begin? Some future students will start their research by searching for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are important factors when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation must 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 reviewing 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 options are available.
Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design
Some people confuse interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The primary difference between the two is the amount of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. However, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in many 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 areas functional as well as attractive. On various occasions they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are two broad categories that an interior designer in Stewartville AL may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers frequently focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over looks as the main concern.
There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui principles, Stewartville AL interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final creations.
Interior Designer Degree Options
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to obtain the training necessary to start your new career in Stewartville AL. Your decision will undoubtedly be driven by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, make sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in several states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum amount of training required to enter the field. They take approximately two years to finish and programs are offered at numerous Alabama trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that provide more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative components of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced design training after achieving the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives 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 primarily for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are generally completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work as a professional and adopt 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 sit for the licensing examination.
Interior Designer Online Classes
For individuals who wish to study in the convenience of their Stewartville AL homes, there are accredited online interior design programs. Attending classes online can be an excellent option for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For many students online programs may be the sole option if no interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Added expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the college you choose is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Interior Design Schools
Once you have chosen the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of analyzing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the campus needs to be within driving distance from your Stewartville AL home. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will decrease your options as well. But picking the most affordable school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you should consider as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a few concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are looking at to obtain those answers as well as others to help you examine and subsequently select the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's imperative to verify that the interior designer school and program that you choose has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding assessment of their programs and teachers. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are outstanding, it might also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Stewartville AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to furnishing an excellent education, the Stewartville AL program you choose should also provide the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will probably need some support in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its students are sought after. It might also signify that the college has a significant network of Stewartville AL business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Stewartville AL colleges you are evaluating and ask what kind of assistance they offer. A number of interior designer schools provide financial aid to their incoming students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide help in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Stewartville AL programs you are considering what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Stewartville home, go to the campus and monitor a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak 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 Fit your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior designer school you choose provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Stewartville AL, verify that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Stewartville Interior Design College
Choosing the right interior designer college is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this creative and fulfilling occupation. Searching for a college where you will obtain your education and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting task no matter what field you have chosen. As with any undertaking to attain a higher education, there are a number of factors to consider before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. However it is still important that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design schools so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Stewartville AL.