How to Find an Interior Design School near Childersburg Alabama
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer college near Childersburg AL, it’s time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it’s important that you receive the right training to put your skills to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it’s very important that you carry out the proper research in order to analyze and compare each college that you are looking at prior to making your ultimate choice. But just where do you start? Some future students will kick off their research by searching for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are relevant variables when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into account also. We will cover those topics and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But before we do, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class alternatives are available.
Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design
Many people mistake interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The primary difference between them is the amount of training required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator in Childersburg AL if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. However, working as an interior designer requires formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or residential spaces attractive as well as functional. On some projects they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are two general categories that an interior designer may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers in Childersburg AL typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any room of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public spaces, Childersburg AL designers frequently concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over looks as the main consideration.
There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design in Childersburg AL that a designer must learn, including color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui concepts, interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final designs.
Interior Designer Training Programs
There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to get the training required to begin your new career. Your selection will no doubt be driven by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, be sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in a number of states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered near Childersburg AL.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum amount of education needed to enter the field. They take roughly two years to finish and programs are offered at numerous Childersburg AL area community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that supply more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative aspects of the trade required 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 provide advanced design training after achieving the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer alternatives in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are largely for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are normally 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, two or more years of professional experience may be needed before a candidate can take the licensing examination.
Online Interior Design Classes
For those who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their homes, there are online accredited interior design classes. Studying online can be an excellent solution for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For some students online schools may be the sole option if no Childersburg AL area interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Added expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the school you select is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, 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 online or distance education. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the perfect option for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Design Schools
Once you have decided on the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of evaluating your Childersburg AL area school options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the school must be within driving distance from your home. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will decrease your options as well. But choosing the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other things that you should look at as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a few questions that you may want to ask the schools you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others to help you compare and ultimately choose the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It’s necessary to verify that the interior design school and program that you choose has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just verify 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 establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are outstanding, it may also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Childersburg AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some states do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those states calling for licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to furnishing an excellent education, the Childersburg AL college you choose 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 working.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will no doubt need some help in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It could also indicate that the college has a sizable network of Childersburg AL area business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the schools you are evaluating and ask what kind of aid they offer. A number of Childersburg AL area interior designer schools provide financial aid to their new students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Childersburg AL colleges you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your home, visit the campus and sit in on a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Last, make certain that the Childersburg AL interior design program you select provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends, make sure that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.
Select the Ideal Interior Designer Program near Childersburg AlabamaChoosing the right interior design program is an important initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and gratifying profession. Searching for a college where you will receive your education and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a difficult job regardless of what field you have decided on. As with any undertaking to attain an advanced education, there are many points to think about before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. However it is still imperative that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare colleges so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer.
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