How to Pick the Right Interior Design Course Tidmore Bend Alabama
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design degree program near Tidmore Bend 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 interiors, it's essential that you get the appropriate 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 examination as well. So it's vital that you perform the proper research so that you can evaluate and compare each program that you are considering before you make your ultimate choice. But where do you begin? A number of future students will start their research by searching for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are relevant issues when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into consideration also. We will address those issues and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But before we do, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are available.
Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration
Many people mistake interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The principal distinction between them is the level of education 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 requires a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make living or work spaces attractive as well as functional. On various projects they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Tidmore Bend AL may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically 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 may specialize in designing one particular room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers normally focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.
There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, for example lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Tidmore Bend AL interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that help bring about their final creations.
Interior Design Degrees
There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to acquire the training necessary to start your new career in Tidmore Bend AL. Your selection will no doubt be driven by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, make certain to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in several 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 furnish the minimum amount of education required to enter the profession. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are offered at many Alabama trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can usually obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that supply more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative aspects 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 position as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These two year programs provide advanced training in design after achieving a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are mostly 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 as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be called for before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Schools
For students who to attend classes in the convenience of their Tidmore Bend AL homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Attending classes online can be a great alternative for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For a number of 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. Additional expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated also. Just make certain that the school you enroll in is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the dedication to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Designer Programs
When you have decided on the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the task of assessing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your Tidmore Bend AL home. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will limit your options also. But choosing the least expensive school or the one that is closest to home are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you should consider also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the colleges you are considering to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you examine and ultimately pick the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's important to confirm that the interior design program and school that you select has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive assessment of their programs and instructors. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are excellent, it might also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Tidmore Bend AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do require 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 program. And in several of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore in addition to providing an excellent education, the Tidmore Bend AL college you choose should also provide the suitable 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 School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some help in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It may also signify that the college has a large network of Tidmore Bend AL business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Tidmore Bend AL colleges you are evaluating and ask what kind of assistance they offer. A number of interior designer programs provide financial aid to their incoming students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide support in obtaining grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Tidmore Bend AL schools you are reviewing what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Tidmore Bend home, go to the campus and sit in on 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 approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior designer school you select provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Tidmore Bend AL, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Select the Ideal Tidmore Bend Interior Design Program
Selecting the right interior designer college is a critical first step toward starting your career in this artistic and rewarding profession. Finding a school where you will receive your education and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting job no matter what field you have chosen. As with any endeavor to receive a higher education, there are several factors to think about before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. However it is still important that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with quality training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Tidmore Bend AL.