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 now that 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 interiors, it's important that you get the appropriate training to put your talents to work. And since several states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing examination also. So in order to evaluate and compare each school you are looking at before you make your ultimate choice it's very important that you do the appropriate research. But exactly where do you begin? A number of prospective students will start their research by looking for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are important factors when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. There are a number of other qualifications that you should weigh when reviewing schools, for instance reputation and accreditation. We will address those topics and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit about the degree and class alternatives are offered.
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Interior Design Degrees
There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to acquire the training required to begin your new career in Trussville AL. Your choice will no doubt be influenced 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, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in a number of states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum level of training needed to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to finish and programs are offered at many Alabama vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level jobs 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 technical and creative facets of the business required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced training in design after achieving the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide alternatives 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 the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are largely for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are typically completed in three to five years.
To work as a professional and use 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 called for before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Designer Online Classes
For individuals who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Trussville AL homes, there are online accredited interior design programs. 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 practical for the student. For some 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 lower than for more conventional options. Additional expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the college you choose is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the perfect option for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Design Colleges
When you have decided on the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of evaluating your school options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your Trussville AL residence. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will limit your options also. But picking the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to home are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other things that you should consider as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are looking at to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and ultimately pick the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's imperative to confirm that the interior design school and program that you select has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment of their teachers and programs. Just verify that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Trussville AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. So besides providing an exceptional education, the Trussville AL college you select should also furnish the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some support in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It could also signify that the college has a significant network of Trussville AL business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Trussville AL schools you are evaluating and find out what kind of support they provide. Many of interior design programs provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide assistance in securing federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Trussville AL schools you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Trussville home, go to the college and sit in on a couple of classes. While there speak with a few students and find out 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 Fit your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior design college you select provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Trussville AL, verify that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option also. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.
Choose the Right Trussville Interior Design School
Choosing the ideal interior design school is a crucial first step toward starting your career in this artistic and fulfilling occupation. Locating a school where you will receive your education and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult task no matter what major you have selected. As with any endeavor to attain a higher education, there are many factors to think about before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. It is still essential that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Trussville Alabama.