Interior Designer School
How to Find the Right One Near Fort Payne Alabama
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design degree program near Fort Payne AL, it's time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's imperative that you get the proper training to put your talents to work. And since interior designers are licensed in several states, the college you select should prep you to pass any required licensing exam and provide the proper training for your specialty. So in order to evaluate and compare each school you are looking at before you make your final choice it's crucial that you carry out the appropriate due diligence. But just how do you approach enrolling in the right program? When checking out interior design schools, many potential students begin by targeting those that are nearest to their homes with the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are relevant variables when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. There are a number of other considerations that you should evaluate when analyzing schools, such as accreditation and reputation. We will cover those issues and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But before we do, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class choices are offered.
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Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Some people confuse interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The primary distinction between the two is the amount of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, working as an interior designer requires a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or residential areas functional as well as attractive. On some projects they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Fort Payne AL can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. 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 bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with public or commercial areas, designers frequently focus predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.
There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui concepts, Fort Payne AL interior designers implement a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
Interior Design Degree Programs
There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to receive the training necessary to launch your new career in Fort Payne AL. Your selection will no doubt be motivated by your career objectives in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, be sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required 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. Following are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum amount of training needed to enter the profession. 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 jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical aspects of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced design training after achieving the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide alternatives in specialized majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mainly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are typically completed in three to five years.
To work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be required before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.
Online Interior Design Colleges
For anyone wishing' to study in the comfort of their Fort Payne AL homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Studying online can be a great alternative for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For many students online programs may be the only alternative if no interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Added expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the school you pick is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the perfect option for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Schools
Once you have selected the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the task of reviewing your college options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the campus needs to be within driving distance from your Fort Payne 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 choices as well. But choosing the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other things that you should look at also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a few questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are considering to get those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and ultimately choose the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's imperative to verify that the interior designer school and program that you select has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive assessment of their teachers and programs. Just make sure that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are outstanding, it might also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Fort Payne AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do require that interior designers become 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 some of those States calling for licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required also. So aside from furnishing an exceptional education, the Fort Payne AL school you enroll in should also furnish the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some help in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It might also signify that the college has a sizable network of Fort Payne AL business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Fort Payne AL schools you are evaluating and find out what kind of support they offer. Many of interior design colleges offer financial aid to their incoming students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide assistance in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Fort Payne AL schools you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Fort Payne home, visit the campus and attend a few classes. While there speak with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior designer college you enroll in provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Fort Payne AL, verify that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Find Out More About How to Become an Interior Designer in Fort Payne
Choose the Best Fort Payne Interior Design School
Picking the ideal interior design school is an important first step toward starting your career in this creative and gratifying occupation. Finding a college where you will obtain your education and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a difficult job regardless of what field you have decided on. As with any endeavor to receive an advanced education, there are many factors to consider before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. It is still important that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design schools so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Fort Payne Alabama.
Fort Payne Interior Design Degrees | Fort Payne How To Become An Interior Designer