Interior Designer Program
How to Pick the Right One Near Auburn Alabama
So it’s time to start the task of picking an interior design school near Auburn AL now that you have made a career choice to become an interior designer. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's essential that you obtain the proper training to put your skills to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's crucial you do the appropriate research in order to evaluate and compare each college that you are considering before you make your ultimate selection. But just how do you undertake finding the right school? Some potential students will start their research by searching for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. However, a school is not always the right choice just because it has the lowest tuition or is located closest to your home. There are many other factors that you should evaluate when comparing schools, for example accreditation and reputation. We will discuss those topics and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But before we do, let's talk a little bit about the degree and class alternatives are available.
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Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to acquire the training needed to launch your new career in Auburn AL. Your decision will undoubtedly be motivated by your career objectives 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, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in several states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum level of education required to enter the profession. They take roughly 2 years to finish and programs are offered at a number of Alabama trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that supply more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative 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 two year programs provide advanced training in design after acquiring a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are primarily for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are usually completed in three to five years.
In order to work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be needed before a candidate can take the licensing exam.
Interior Designer Online Classes
For those who wish to study in the comfort of their Auburn AL homes, there are online accredited interior design colleges. Studying online can be a great solution for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For many students online programs may be the only option if no interior design programs 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 commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the program you choose is accredited by a highly regarded 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 online or distance learning. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the ideal alternative for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
When you have decided on the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of assessing your college options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the school needs to be within driving distance from your Auburn AL residence. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will narrow down your options also. But selecting the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you need to look at also, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a few questions that you may want to ask the schools you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others to help you examine and subsequently select the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's important to confirm that the interior designer school and program that you choose has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive assessment of their instructors and programs. 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 establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Auburn AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States mandating licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore aside from furnishing an outstanding education, the Auburn AL program you select should also furnish the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design trade and its students are sought after. It might also signify that the college has a substantial network of Auburn AL business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial aid departments for the Auburn AL schools you are reviewing and find out what type of aid they provide. A number of interior designer programs provide financial aid to their new students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide help in obtaining grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Auburn AL colleges you are considering what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Auburn home, go to the campus and monitor a couple of classes. While there talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior designer program you enroll in provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Auburn AL, confirm that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Choose the Best Auburn Interior Design School
Choosing the ideal interior design school is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and rewarding profession. Locating a college where you will receive your training and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a challenging job no matter what major you have decided on. As with any endeavor to attain a higher education, there are a number of things to think about before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the design college and program are both accredited and highly esteemed in the business. It is still important that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Auburn Alabama.