How to Find the Right Interior Designer Course Taylor Alabama
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design degree program near Taylor AL, it's time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's important that you obtain the appropriate training to put your skills to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it's vital that you carry out the appropriate research in order to analyze and compare each program that you are looking at before you make your ultimate decision. But where do you begin? Some potential students will begin their research by searching for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are important issues when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into consideration also. We will discuss those issues and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class options are available.
Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design
Many people mistake interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The principal distinction 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 areas. However, conducting business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or living areas functional as well as attractive. On various occasions they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general categories 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 essentially any room of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public areas, designers frequently focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.
There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, for example lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui concepts, Taylor AL interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final designs.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to acquire the training required to start your new career in Taylor AL. Your choice will undoubtedly be driven by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have 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 mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in some states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum amount of education needed to enter the profession. They take about 2 years to finish and programs are offered at numerous Alabama community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative aspects of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced design training after achieving a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialty majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are mainly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be needed before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Classes
For individuals who wish to study in the convenience of their Taylor AL homes, there are online accredited interior design colleges. Studying online can be a good solution for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For a number of students online schools may be the sole 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 costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the school you pick 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 distance or online education. If you have the dedication to obtain your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the ideal alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Design Programs
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 a critical issue, particularly if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your Taylor AL home. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will limit your choices as well. But picking the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your house are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you should look at as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a few questions that you may want to address with the schools you are looking at to get those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and subsequently select the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's imperative to confirm that the interior design program and college that you choose has been accredited by either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive assessment of their instructors and programs. 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 confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Taylor AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required also. Therefore aside from furnishing an exceptional education, the Taylor AL program you select should also provide the proper education 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 Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will probably want some support in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its graduates are in demand. It may also signify that the school has a significant network of Taylor AL business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Taylor AL schools you are reviewing and find out what kind of aid they provide. A number of interior designer programs offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Some schools provide partial scholarships while others provide support in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Taylor AL colleges you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Taylor home, go to the college and sit in on 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 approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior design school you enroll in offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Taylor AL, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Pick the Ideal Taylor Interior Design College
Selecting the ideal interior designer college is an important first step toward launching your career in this creative and fulfilling profession. Searching for a school where you will obtain your education and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a difficult job no matter what major you have selected. As with any undertaking to attain a higher education, there are a number of things to consider before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, verify that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. But it is still essential that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design programs so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Taylor AL.