Interior Designer School
How to Choose the Right One Near Trussville Alabama
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near Trussville AL, it's time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's imperative that you get the appropriate training to put your natural abilities to work. And since interior designers are licensed in several 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 it's essential you do the proper research so that you can analyze and compare each program that you are considering before you make your final selection. But just how do you approach finding the right school? Many potential students will launch their research by looking for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. However, a school is not always the right option just because it happens to have a campus near your home or is lower in cost. There are several other considerations that you should evaluate when comparing schools, for example reputation and accreditation. We will cover those topics and other crucial questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But before we do, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are available.
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Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Many people confuse interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The main difference between the two is the amount of education 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 formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make living or work spaces functional as well as attractive. On various occasions they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Trussville AL may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently 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 bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers normally concentrate primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.
There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, such as color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui concepts, Trussville AL interior designers implement a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
Interior Designer Degree Options
There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to receive the training required to start your new profession in Trussville AL. Your choice will no doubt be influenced by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in several states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum level of training required to enter the field. They take roughly two years to complete and programs are offered at numerous Alabama vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that provide more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative components of the business required to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced design training after achieving a 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 enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mostly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are typically completed in three to five years.
In order to work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be required before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.
Online Interior Design Colleges
For anyone wishing' to study in the comfort of their Trussville AL homes, there are online accredited interior design programs. Studying online can be an excellent option for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For some students online colleges may be the only option if no interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Added costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the program you pick is accredited by a respected accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also earn 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 college may be the perfect alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Design Programs
When you have chosen the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of analyzing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the college has to be within commuting distance from your Trussville AL home. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will limit your choices as well. But picking the cheapest college or the one that is closest to home are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you need to consider as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a few concerns 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 pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's necessary to make sure that the interior design school and program that you enroll in has earned accreditation from 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 receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just confirm 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 training are exceptional, it might also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Trussville AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the College Prep 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) exam as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required as well. So aside from furnishing an outstanding education, the Trussville AL program you enroll in should also furnish the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam 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? Once you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some help in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It might also signify that the college has a significant network of Trussville AL business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial aid departments for the Trussville AL schools you are looking at and ask what type of support they provide. A number of interior design programs provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Some schools provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Trussville AL schools you are considering what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Trussville home, visit the campus and sit in on 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 styles are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior designer college you choose offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Trussville AL, make certain that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Trussville Interior Design School
Picking the ideal interior designer program is a critical first step toward starting your career in this creative and gratifying profession. Searching for a college where you will receive your training and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a daunting task no matter what field you have decided on. As with any undertaking to attain a higher education, there are many things to consider before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, make sure that the design college and program are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. It is still important that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design schools so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with quality training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Trussville Alabama.