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How to Choose the Right Interior Designer School Taylor Alabama

Taylor Alabama elegant interior designed bathroomNow that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near Taylor AL, it's time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's essential that you get the proper training to put your talents 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 crucial that you carry out the appropriate research so that you can evaluate and compare each school that you are reviewing before you make your ultimate decision. But just where do you begin? Many prospective students will begin their research by looking for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are key variables when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into consideration as well. We will address those topics and other vital questions that you must ask 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 training alternatives are offered.

Interior Decoration vs Interior Design

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Often people confuse interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The key distinction between them is the amount of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they have a general 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 numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or residential areas attractive as well as functional. On some occasions they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are two general areas that an interior designer in Taylor AL can specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any room of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers normally focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.

There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. 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 integrating Feng shui concepts, Taylor AL interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final creations.

Interior Design Degree Options

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There are 4 degree options available in interior design to acquire the training needed to start your new profession in Taylor AL. Your selection will no doubt be influenced by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, make sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in several states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum amount of education needed to enter the profession. They take about 2 years to finish 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 provide more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical facets of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree 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 design training after achieving the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are mostly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary in length but are usually completed in three to five 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 some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be needed before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.

Interior Design Online Degree Programs

For individuals who wish to study in the convenience of their Taylor AL homes, there are online accredited interior design colleges. Attending classes online can be a great option for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For a number of students online colleges may be the only option if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Added expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated also. Just be sure that the program you enroll in is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also obtain 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 college may be the perfect alternative for you.

Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Schools

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After you have selected the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of reviewing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the campus needs to be within driving distance from your Taylor AL home. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But choosing the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to home are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you need to look at as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a few questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are considering to get those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and ultimately choose the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's essential to verify that the interior design program and college that you choose has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous evaluation of their teachers and programs. 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 confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are excellent, it might also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Taylor AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.

Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several 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 school. And in some of those States mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from furnishing an outstanding education, the Taylor AL school you select should also provide the proper education to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will probably need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It might also signify that the school has a sizable network of Taylor AL business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Available? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Taylor AL colleges you are looking at and ask what kind of support they provide. Many of interior designer programs provide financial assistance to their new students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships and others provide help in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Taylor AL schools you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Taylor home, visit the school and monitor a few classes. While there speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior designer school you choose provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Taylor AL, make sure that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an option also. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.

Find Out More About Accredited Taylor Interior Design Courses

Select the Ideal Taylor Interior Design School

Selecting the right interior designer program is an important first step toward starting your career in this creative and gratifying profession. Locating a college where you will obtain your training and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a daunting job regardless of what major you have decided on. As with any endeavor to attain an advanced education, there are many things to consider before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, check that the design college and program are both accredited and highly esteemed in the business. But it is still imperative that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design programs so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Taylor AL.