How to Find an Interior Design Program near Addison Alabama
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design college near Addison AL, it’s time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it’s important that you obtain the appropriate training to put your talents to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it’s vital that you do the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each college that you are reviewing before you make your ultimate decision. But where do you start? Some prospective students will kick off their research by searching for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are key issues when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into account as well. We will address those issues and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training options are offered.
Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Often people confuse interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The primary difference between the two is the level of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. However, working as an interior designer requires a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or residential spaces functional as well as attractive. On many occasions they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are two broad areas that an interior designer in Addison AL can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any room of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When working on public or commercial areas, designers normally focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms 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 various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui concepts, Addison AL interior designers employ a wide range of skills that help bring about their final designs.
Interior Designer Degree Options
There are four degree options available in interior design to acquire the training necessary to launch your new profession in Addison AL. Your selection will undoubtedly be driven by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt 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 mandated in some states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum level of education needed to enter the field. They take about 2 years to complete and programs are available at numerous 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 supply more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical aspects of the business required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs supply advanced design training after attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer choices in specialty majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mostly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary in length but are generally completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work professionally and use the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be required before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Classes
For anyone wishing’ to study in the convenience of their Addison AL homes, there are online accredited interior design colleges. Studying online can be a great option for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For some students online colleges may be the only alternative if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Additional costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the college you pick is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the dedication to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the right alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Design Schools
Now that you have selected the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of analyzing your school options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the college must be within commuting distance from your Addison AL residence. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will decrease your options as well. But choosing the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your house are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other things that you need to look at also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a list of questions that you may want to ask the schools you are considering to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and ultimately pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It’s imperative to verify that the interior design college and program that you select has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous assessment of their instructors and programs. Just confirm that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are excellent, it may also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Addison AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, 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 as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to furnishing an excellent education, the Addison AL college you enroll in should also furnish the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with 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 earned your interior designer certification, you will probably want some support in finding your first position. Ask the colleges 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 sign that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It may also indicate that the school has a significant network of Addison AL business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial aid offices for the Addison AL schools you are reviewing and ask what kind of aid they offer. Many of interior design programs offer financial aid to their new students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide support in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors 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 Addison AL colleges you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Addison home, go to the college and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk 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 Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior design program you enroll in provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Addison AL, make certain that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option also. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Considering Attending Interior Design School in Addison AL?
As of the 2010 Census Addison had a population of 757. The population was 99.1% white, 0.1% black or African American, 0.1% Asian, 0.7% from two or more races and 0.4% Hispanic or Latino of any race.
As of the census of 2000, there were 723 people, 315 households, and 219 families residing in the town. The population density was 205.7 people per square mile (79.5/km²). There were 339 housing units at an average density of 96.5 per square mile (37.3/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 99.45% White, 0.14% Black or African American, 0.14% Native American, 0.14% Asian, and 0.14% from two or more races. 0.14% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 315 households out of which 30.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.0% were married couples living together, 12.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.2% were non-families. 28.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.78.
Find the Best Interior Design School near Addison AL
Picking the right interior designer college is a crucial initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and rewarding profession. Locating a college where you will receive your training and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a daunting task no matter what major you have decided on. As with any undertaking to recieve a higher education, there are several things to think about before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the field. However it is still important that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare colleges so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Addison AL.
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