How to Choose the Right Interior Design School Town Creek Alabama
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer college near Town Creek 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 imperative that you get the right training to put your talents to work. And since some states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it's vital that you perform the proper research so that you can evaluate and compare each school that you are considering prior to making your final selection. But exactly where do you start? Some potential students will start their research by looking for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are relevant variables when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into consideration also. We will address those topics and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let's talk 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 confuse interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The main distinction between them is the amount of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, working 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 educated to make work or residential areas attractive as well as functional. On many projects they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are two general areas that an interior designer in Town Creek AL can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any area of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers frequently concentrate predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the main consideration.
There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, including lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui concepts, Town Creek AL interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
Interior Design Degree Options
There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to receive the training needed to start your new profession in Town Creek AL. Your decision will no doubt be influenced by your career objectives as well as the money and time that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, make certain to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in some states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief 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 field. They take approximately 2 years to finish and programs are offered at numerous Alabama trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can typically obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that deliver more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical aspects of the business required 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 furnish advanced training in design after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide 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 the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are largely for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are normally completed in three to five years.
In order to work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be called for before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Colleges
For anyone wishing' to attend classes in the convenience of their Town Creek AL homes, there are online accredited interior design colleges. Studying online can be a good alternative for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For many students online programs may be the sole option if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Additional expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the school you choose is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. 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 right option for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Design Schools
After you have chosen the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of assessing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the school must be within commuting distance from your Town Creek AL residence. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will decrease your choices as well. But picking the most affordable school or the one that is closest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you need to consider also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a few questions that you may want to ask the schools you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and subsequently choose the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's essential to confirm that the interior design school and program that you choose has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Town Creek AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do mandate that interior designers become 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 several of those States calling for licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required as well. So aside from providing an exceptional education, the Town Creek AL college you enroll in should also provide the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill 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 designer certification, you will probably need some support in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It may also indicate that the college has a sizable network of Town Creek AL business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Town Creek AL colleges you are evaluating and ask what kind of assistance they offer. Many of interior design colleges offer financial aid to their incoming students. Some schools offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in obtaining grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Town Creek AL programs you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Town Creek home, go to the school and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior design program you choose offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Town Creek AL, confirm that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Find the Right Town Creek Interior Design School
Picking the right interior designer college is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding occupation. Locating a school where you will obtain your education and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a difficult task no matter what major you have decided on. As with any undertaking to receive an advanced education, there are several factors to think about before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, confirm that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the business. But it is still imperative that you conduct your due diligence analysis. 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 schools so that you can make the right final selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Town Creek AL.