Interior Designer Course
How to Choose the Right One Near Trussville Alabama
So it’s time to start the process of picking an interior design school near Trussville AL once you have made a career decision to study to be an interior designer. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's imperative that you receive the right training to put your skills to work. And because interior designers must be licensed in a number of states, the school you choose should prep you to pass any required licensing test as well as provide the necessary training for your specialty. So in order to analyze and compare each college you are considering before you make your final decision it's vital that you carry out the proper research. But exactly where do you start? When checking out interior design programs, the majority of students begin by zeroing in on those that are closest to their homes with the lowest tuition. While location and cost are key issues when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. There are various other factors that you should evaluate when reviewing schools, such as reputation and accreditation. We will cover those topics and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But before we do, let's talk a little bit about the degree and training alternatives are offered.
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Interior Designer Degree Options
There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to receive the training required to start your new profession in Trussville AL. Your selection will undoubtedly be driven by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, make certain to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in some 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. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum level of training required to enter the field. They take about 2 years to complete and programs are available at many Alabama community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative aspects of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced design training after acquiring a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer options in specialized majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are mostly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be needed before a candidate can take the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Schools
For those who wish to study in the comfort of their Trussville AL homes, there are online accredited interior design classes. Studying online can be a great option for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For many students online programs may be the only alternative if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Added expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the program you enroll in is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the discipline to obtain your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the right alternative for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Design Colleges
When you have selected the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the campus must be within driving distance from your Trussville AL residence. Of course 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 expense for tuition will decrease your choices as well. But selecting the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to home are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you need to look at as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a few questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and ultimately select the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's imperative to make sure that the interior designer college and program that you select has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college 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, many Trussville AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the College Prep 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) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States calling for licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required also. So aside from furnishing an excellent education, the Trussville AL program you select should also provide the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the schools 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 a good indication that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It could also signify that the school has a substantial network of Trussville AL business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Trussville AL colleges you are evaluating and find out what kind of aid they offer. A number of interior design colleges offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Trussville AL programs you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Trussville home, visit the campus and monitor a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior designer school you choose provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Trussville AL, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative as well. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Choose the Best Trussville Interior Design College
Selecting the right interior designer program is a crucial initial step toward launching your career in this creative and fulfilling occupation. Searching for a college where you will receive your training and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a challenging job regardless of what field you have chosen. As with any endeavor to acquire a higher education, there are many factors to think about before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. It is still important that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Trussville Alabama.