Interior Designer College
How to Choose the Right One Near Tillmans Corner Alabama
So it’s time to start the task of choosing an interior design school near Tillmans Corner AL once you have made a career decision to become an interior designer. It's important that you get the best available training to put your skills to work, even if you have always had a knack for designing commercial or residential interiors. And since several states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it's very important you do the appropriate research in order to analyze and compare each college that you are reviewing before you make your final choice. But just how do you approach finding the right program? Many potential students will launch their research by looking for interior design courses near their home and then comparing tuition costs. However, a school is not always the best option simply because it happens to have a campus near your home or is lower in cost. There are many other considerations that you should evaluate when analyzing schools, for example accreditation and reputation. We will discuss those issues and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are looking at 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 offered.
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Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The main difference between them is the amount of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, working as an interior designer necessitates 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 trained to make living or work areas functional as well as attractive. On some occasions they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad areas that an interior designer in Tillmans Corner AL can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers normally focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.
There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, such as lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui principles, Tillmans Corner AL interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final creations.
Interior Design Degrees
There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to get the training required to launch your new career in Tillmans Corner AL. Your decision will no doubt be influenced by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in a number of states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum level of education required to enter the profession. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are offered at many Alabama community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that deliver more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative aspects of the business required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced training in design after acquiring the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialized majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mainly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be required before an applicant can take the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Schools
For anyone wishing' to attend classes in the convenience of their Tillmans Corner AL homes, there are online accredited interior design degrees. Studying online can be a good alternative for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For a number of students online programs may be the only option if no interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Additional expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the program 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 earn 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 confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
Now that you have chosen the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of assessing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the campus must be within driving distance from your Tillmans Corner AL home. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will limit your options as well. But selecting the most affordable college or the one that is closest to your house are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you need to look at also, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a few concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are reviewing to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and subsequently choose the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's important to make sure that the interior design program and school that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. 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 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it may also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Tillmans Corner AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do mandate 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 college. And in some of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required as well. So aside from providing an outstanding education, the Tillmans Corner AL program you enroll in should also furnish the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill 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 received your interior design certification, you will no doubt need some help in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job placement 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 highly esteemed within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It might also signify that the school has a significant network of Tillmans Corner AL business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Tillmans Corner AL schools you are evaluating and find out what type of support they provide. A number of interior designer schools provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Various schools offer partial scholarships and others provide help in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Tillmans Corner AL schools you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Tillmans Corner home, go to the school and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk 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 Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior design school you select provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Tillmans Corner AL, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Choose the Right Tillmans Corner Interior Design School
Selecting the right interior designer school is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this creative and gratifying profession. Finding a college where you will obtain your education and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a difficult job no matter what major you have selected. As with any endeavor to attain an advanced education, there are several factors to consider before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, verify that the design college and program are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. It is still imperative that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Tillmans Corner Alabama.