How to Select the Right Interior Design Course Sulligent Alabama
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Sulligent AL, it's time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's important that you get the appropriate training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it's essential that you do the appropriate research in order to analyze and compare each college that you are reviewing before you make your ultimate decision. But exactly where do you begin? Some potential students will start their research by searching for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are key variables when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into account as well. We will address those topics and other crucial questions that you must ask 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 alternatives are offered.
Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Some people mistake interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The primary difference between the two is the level of training required. Any person 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 a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make living or work areas attractive as well as functional. On some occasions they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Sulligent AL may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any room of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public areas, designers often 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 stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.
There are numerous areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, for example color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. They have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Sulligent AL interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
Interior Design Degree Options
There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to acquire the training necessary to launch your new career in Sulligent AL. Your decision will undoubtedly be driven by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in some states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum level of training needed to enter the field. They take about two years to complete and programs are offered at numerous Alabama vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can usually obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical facets of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These two year programs supply advanced training in design after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer options in specialized majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of 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 college or university level. The 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", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be required before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Degree Programs
For those who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their Sulligent AL homes, there are accredited online interior design degrees. Attending classes online can be a great solution for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For many students online programs may be the sole alternative 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 study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated also. Just make sure that the college you select is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the perfect option for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
After 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 an important factor, particularly if the campus must be within commuting distance from your Sulligent AL residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will limit your choices as well. But selecting the most affordable college or the one that is closest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other things that you should look at also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Below are a few questions that you may want to ask the schools you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and subsequently select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's necessary to confirm that the interior design program and college that you choose has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just verify 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 exceptional, it may also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Sulligent AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore in addition to providing an exceptional education, the Sulligent AL college you select should also provide the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, find out 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 profession and its students are in demand. It might also indicate that the school has a significant network of Sulligent AL business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Sulligent AL colleges you are looking at and ask what type of support they offer. Many of interior designer schools offer financial aid to their incoming students. Some schools provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Sulligent AL programs you are reviewing what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Sulligent home, go to the school and attend 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 Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior design program you enroll in provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Sulligent AL, make sure that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Find the Best Sulligent Interior Design Program
Choosing the ideal interior designer school is an important initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and rewarding profession. Searching for a school where you will receive your education and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult job regardless of what field you have chosen. As with any undertaking to attain a higher education, there are a number of things to think about before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. However it is still essential that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design schools so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Sulligent AL.