Interior Designer Course
How to Enroll in the Best One Near Pell City Alabama
So it’s time to begin the task of picking an interior design school near Pell City AL once you have made a career choice to become an interior designer. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's important that you receive the right training to put your skills to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So in order to analyze and compare each college you are looking at before you make your ultimate choice it's crucial that you do the proper due diligence. But just where do you begin? When checking out interior design programs, many potential students begin by targeting those that are nearest to their homes with the cheapest tuition. However, a school is not always the best option simply because it has the lowest tuition or is located closest to your home. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into consideration as well. We will discuss those issues and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are researching 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 alternatives are available.
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Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Many people confuse interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The main distinction between them is the level of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. However, working as an interior designer requires a formal education and in numerous 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 various occasions they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Pell City AL can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers often focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.
There are numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, including lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui principles, Pell City AL interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
Interior Design Degree Options
There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to acquire the training needed to start your new career in Pell City AL. Your selection will no doubt be motivated by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt 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) exam mandated in several states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum level of education needed to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to finish and programs are offered at numerous Alabama community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can usually obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that furnish more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical facets of the business needed to become a designer. They are the minimum 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 supply advanced training in design after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer choices in specialty majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are largely for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The 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 mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be called for before a candidate can take the licensing exam.
Online Interior Designer Classes
For individuals who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their Pell City AL homes, there are online accredited interior design programs. Studying online can be a good option for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For a number of students online schools 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 also. Just make sure that the college you enroll in is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Design Schools
Once you have chosen the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of analyzing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the campus needs to be within driving distance from your Pell City AL home. Naturally if you have decided on attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will decrease your choices also. But choosing the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other things that you should look at as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Below are a few questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others to help you examine and ultimately pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the interior design college and program that you select 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 obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are outstanding, it may also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Pell City AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do require 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 program. And in some of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to providing an outstanding education, the Pell City AL school you choose should also provide the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some support in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its students are sought after. It may also signify that the school has a significant network of Pell City AL business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial aid departments for the Pell City AL colleges you are looking at and ask what kind of assistance they offer. A number of interior design colleges provide financial aid to their incoming students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships and others provide support in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Pell City AL schools you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Pell City home, go to the school and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few 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? Last, verify that the interior design school you choose offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Pell City AL, confirm that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Choose the Right Pell City Interior Design School
Selecting the right interior design school is a critical initial step toward launching your career in this creative and rewarding profession. Searching for a college where you will obtain your training and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting job regardless of what major you have selected. As with any undertaking to receive a higher education, there are several points to consider before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the profession. It is still essential that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Pell City Alabama.