How to Find the Right Interior Designer Course Trinity Alabama
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer college near Trinity AL, it's time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's imperative that you obtain the appropriate training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it's essential that you perform the appropriate research in order to evaluate and compare each school that you are looking at before you make your ultimate decision. But exactly where do you begin? Some potential students will launch their research by searching for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are key variables when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation must be taken into consideration as well. We will discuss those topics 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 cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class alternatives are available.
Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design
Many people confuse interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The primary difference between them is the amount of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer requires formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make living or work spaces attractive as well as functional. On some projects they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Trinity AL can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public areas, designers often focus predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.
There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Trinity AL interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
Interior Design Degree Programs
There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to acquire the training necessary to launch your new career in Trinity AL. Your selection will undoubtedly be influenced by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have 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 qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in several states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum amount of education required to enter the profession. They take about 2 years to finish and programs are offered at a number of Alabama vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can usually obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical components of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced design training after acquiring the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialty majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are primarily for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be called for before an applicant can take the licensing examination.
Online Interior Design Colleges
For those who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Trinity AL homes, there are online accredited interior design degrees. Studying online can be an excellent option 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 convenient for the student. For many students online programs may be the only option if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make sure that the college you select is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also earn 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 college may be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Programs
After you have chosen the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of analyzing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your Trinity AL residence. Obviously 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 fee for tuition will decrease your choices as well. But picking the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to home are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you should look at also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and ultimately choose the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's important to make sure that the interior designer program and college that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding evaluation of their instructors 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 verify 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, a number of Trinity AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, 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 in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of occupational experience may be required also. So besides furnishing an exceptional education, the Trinity AL school you select should also provide the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some support in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing 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 school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It could also signify that the school has a large network of Trinity AL business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Trinity AL schools you are evaluating and ask what type of support they provide. Many of interior design colleges provide financial aid to their new students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide help in securing grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Trinity AL programs you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Trinity home, go to the campus and attend a couple of classes. While there talk with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior design program you select provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Trinity AL, confirm that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Pick the Right Trinity Interior Design School
Picking the right interior design college is a critical first step toward launching your career in this creative and gratifying occupation. Searching for a college where you will obtain your training and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a difficult task regardless of what major you have decided on. As with any endeavor to receive an advanced education, there are a number of things to consider before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, verify that the design college and program are both accredited and highly esteemed in the business. But it is still important 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 programs so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Trinity AL.