How to Choose the Right Interior Design Course Sulligent Alabama
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near Sulligent AL, it's time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's imperative that you receive the proper training to put your skills to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's vital that you do the appropriate research in order to assess and compare each school that you are considering before you make your final selection. But just where do you start? Some future 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 decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation need to be taken into account also. We will address those topics and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But before we do, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class choices are available.
Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design
Some people mistake interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The key distinction between the two is the amount of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer requires formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or residential spaces attractive as well as functional. On various projects they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Sulligent 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 can specialize in designing one particular room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers frequently focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might concentrate more on functionality over looks as the main consideration.
There are numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, including color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui concepts, Sulligent AL interior designers implement a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
Interior Design Degree Options
There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to acquire the training necessary to begin your new profession in Sulligent AL. Your choice will no doubt be motivated by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in some states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum level of education needed to enter the profession. They take approximately two years to finish and programs are available at numerous Alabama community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can typically obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that supply more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical facets of the business needed to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a college graduate 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 acquiring a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide alternatives in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are primarily for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The 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", many states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required before a candidate can take the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Schools
For students who to study in the comfort of their Sulligent AL homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Attending classes online can be an excellent solution for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For many students online programs 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 traditional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the college you select is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also receive 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 structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the perfect alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
After you have chosen the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of assessing your college options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the school has to be within commuting distance from your Sulligent AL home. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will decrease your options as well. But choosing the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you need to consider also, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and subsequently choose the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's necessary to confirm that the interior design program and college that you enroll in has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Sulligent AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do require that interior designers get 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 college. And in some of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from providing an exceptional education, the Sulligent AL school you select should also provide the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some support in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It might also indicate that the college has a substantial network of Sulligent AL business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Sulligent AL schools you are evaluating and find out what type of assistance they provide. A number of interior designer colleges provide financial assistance to their new students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships and others provide support in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Sulligent AL colleges you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Sulligent home, go to the campus and monitor a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some 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 Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior designer school you choose provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Sulligent AL, make certain that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Enroll in the Best Sulligent Interior Design School
Choosing the right interior design program is a crucial initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and fulfilling profession. Locating a school where you will receive your training and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting task regardless of what field you have selected. As with any undertaking to receive an advanced education, there are several factors to consider before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. But it is still important that you conduct your due diligence research. 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 colleges so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Sulligent AL.