Interior Designer School
How to Find the Best One Near Trussville Alabama
So it’s time to begin the process of selecting an interior design school near Trussville AL now that you have made a career decision to become an interior designer. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's important that you get the right training to put your skills to work. And because interior designers are licensed in several states, the college you select should prep you to pass any required licensing test as well as provide the necessary training for your specialty. So it's crucial you perform the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each college that you are looking at before you make your ultimate selection. But exactly where do you begin? Many future students will begin their research by looking for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. However, a school is not always the best choice simply because it has the lowest tuition or is located closest to your home. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into consideration as well. We will address those issues and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class options are offered.
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Interior Design Compared to Interior Decoration
Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The key difference between them is the amount of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer requires formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make living or work areas functional as well as attractive. On various occasions they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Trussville AL may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any room of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers frequently concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the main concern.
There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, including lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui principles, Trussville AL interior designers implement a wide range of skills that help bring about their final creations.
Interior Designer Degrees
There are four degree options available in interior design to receive the training needed to start your new profession in Trussville AL. Your decision will undoubtedly be influenced by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt 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 required in some states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum amount of training required to enter the profession. They take about 2 years to finish and programs are available at numerous Alabama community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can usually obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that furnish more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical aspects of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced training in design after acquiring a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer choices in specialty majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are primarily 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.
In order to work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Designer Online Schools
For students who to attend classes in the convenience of their Trussville AL homes, there are online accredited interior design classes. Attending classes online can be a great option for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For a number of students online schools may be the sole option if no interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the school you choose is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the dedication to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the right alternative for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Design Programs
When you have selected the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of evaluating your college options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the school has to be within commuting distance from your Trussville AL residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will narrow down your options also. But choosing the most affordable school or the one that is nearest to home are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you should look at as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a list of questions that you may want to ask the schools you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and ultimately choose the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's important to confirm that the interior design school and program that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous assessment of their programs and teachers. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are outstanding, it might also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Trussville AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States calling for licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to providing an exceptional education, the Trussville AL program you choose should also provide the proper education to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will no doubt need some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are reviewing 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 held in high regard within the interior design trade and its students are sought after. It could also indicate that the school has a substantial network of Trussville AL business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial aid offices for the Trussville AL colleges you are looking at and find out what kind of aid they offer. A number of interior design colleges offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Some schools provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in securing grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Big 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. Find out from the Trussville AL colleges you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Trussville home, visit the college and attend a couple of classes. While there speak with some 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, make sure that the interior designer program you choose offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evening 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, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Enroll in the Right Trussville Interior Design School
Selecting the ideal interior designer college is a crucial first step toward launching your career in this creative and fulfilling profession. Searching for a school where you will receive your training and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a daunting task regardless of what major you have selected. As with any endeavor to attain an advanced education, there are several things to consider before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the business. It is still important that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design programs so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Trussville Alabama.