Interior Designer Course
How to Choose the Best One Near Auburn Alabama
So it’s time to begin the process of choosing an interior design school near Auburn AL now that you have made a career choice to study to be an interior designer. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's imperative that you obtain the appropriate training to put your skills to work. And since several states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's essential you do the appropriate research so that you can analyze and compare each school that you are reviewing before you make your ultimate decision. But exactly where do you begin? When looking for interior design schools, many potential students start by targeting the ones that are closest to their homes with the lowest tuition. While cost and location are relevant factors when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. There are several other qualifications that you should weigh when reviewing schools, for instance reputation and accreditation. We will cover those topics and other crucial questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But first, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class choices are available.
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Interior Design Compared to Interior Decoration
Many people confuse interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The main distinction between the two is the amount of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. 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 as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or residential areas functional as well as attractive. On some occasions they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are two broad categories that an interior designer in Auburn AL may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any room of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers normally concentrate predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.
There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, such as lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui principles, Auburn AL interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that contribute to their final creations.
Interior Design Degree Options
There are four degree options available in interior design to receive the training needed to begin your new career in Auburn AL. Your decision will no doubt be influenced by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in a number of states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum amount of education required to enter the field. They take roughly two years to finish and programs are available at numerous Alabama vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that provide more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical components of the trade required 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 provide 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 improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mostly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are normally completed in three to five years.
In order to work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be needed before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Schools
For individuals who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their Auburn AL homes, there are accredited online interior design colleges. Studying online can be an excellent solution for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For many students online colleges may be the only alternative if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Additional costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the college you pick is accredited by a respected accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance 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 perfect option for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
Once you have decided on the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of analyzing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the campus must be within commuting distance from your Auburn AL residence. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will decrease your choices also. But picking the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you should consider as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a few questions that you may want to ask the programs you are considering to get those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and subsequently choose the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's necessary to confirm that the interior design program and college 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 undergone a rigorous evaluation of their programs and teachers. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it may also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Auburn AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do require 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 college. And in some of those States mandating licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore besides furnishing an exceptional education, the Auburn AL program you choose should also provide the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will probably want some help in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high 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 could also indicate that the school has a sizable network of Auburn AL business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Auburn AL colleges you are looking at and find out what kind of assistance they provide. Many of interior design colleges provide financial aid to their new students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited school is essential 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 aid.
How Big are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Auburn AL programs you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Auburn home, visit the school and sit in on a few classes. While there speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior design college you enroll in provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Auburn AL, make certain that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.
Learn More About Studying to Become an Interior Designer in Auburn
Enroll in the Right Auburn Interior Design School
Choosing the right interior design college is a critical first step toward starting your career in this creative and fulfilling occupation. Finding a school where you will receive your training and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a challenging job regardless of what major you have decided on. As with any endeavor to acquire a higher education, there are several points to consider before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, verify that the design college and program are both accredited and highly esteemed in the business. It is still imperative that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design schools so that you can make the right final selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Auburn Alabama.
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