How to Select an Interior Designer Course near Fayette Alabama
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near Fayette AL, it’s time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it’s important that you get the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s essential that you perform the appropriate research so that you can analyze and compare each program that you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate choice. But just where do you begin? A number of potential students will kick off their research by searching for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are key factors when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into consideration also. We will discuss those topics and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But first, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training options are offered.
Interior Decoration and Interior Design
Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The principal distinction between the two is the level of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. However, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make living or work spaces attractive as well as functional. On various projects they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are two general areas that an interior designer in Fayette AL may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any room of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with public or commercial areas, designers normally focus predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary concern.
There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. They need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui principles, Fayette AL interior designers implement a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
Interior Designer Training Programs
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to obtain the training needed to launch your new career in Fayette AL. Your decision will undoubtedly be motivated by your career objectives 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, be sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in a number of states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum level of training needed to enter the field. They take approximately 2 years to finish and programs are offered at a number of Alabama trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that provide more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative components of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced design training after attaining a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide choices in specialty majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are largely for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work professionally and adopt 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 a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Degree Programs
For students who to attend classes in the comfort of their Fayette AL homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Attending classes online can be a good option for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For some students online colleges may be the only alternative if no interior design colleges 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 decreased or eliminated also. Just make sure that the college you enroll in is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the dedication to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the ideal alternative for you.
What to Ask Interior Designer Programs
Once you have selected the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of analyzing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the college has to be within commuting distance from your Fayette AL residence. Of course 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 fee for tuition will limit your choices also. But picking the cheapest college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you need to look at as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Below are a list of questions that you may want to ask the schools you are reviewing to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and subsequently choose the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It’s imperative to confirm that the interior designer college and program that you select has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous assessment of their programs and teachers. Just make sure 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 school and the quality of the education are outstanding, it might also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Fayette AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States calling for licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required as well. So in addition to furnishing an outstanding education, the Fayette AL college you select should also furnish the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will probably want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job assistance 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 highly regarded within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It might also indicate that the school has a sizable network of Fayette AL business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Available? Contact the financial aid offices for the Fayette AL colleges you are evaluating and ask what type of assistance they provide. A number of interior design schools provide financial aid to their incoming students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide 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. Find out from the Fayette AL programs you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Fayette home, visit the school and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior designer school you choose offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Fayette AL, make certain that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Considering Attending Interior Design School in Fayette AL?
Originally known as "La Fayette", it incorporated on January 15, 1821. When Fayette County was created in 1824, the town's name was officially changed to "Fayette Court House", though it was also known as "Fayetteville", which was the name shown on maps and on the U.S. Census in 1880 and 1890. It was officially shortened to "Fayette" in 1898.
As of the census of 2000, there were 4,922 people, 2,092 households, and 1,303 families residing in the city. The population density was 575.1 people per square mile (222.0/km²). There were 2,336 housing units at an average density of 273.0 per square mile (105.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 75.34% White, 23.38% Black or African American, 0.12% Native American, 0.28% Asian, 0.30% from other races, and 0.57% from two or more races. One percent of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 2,092 households out of which 26.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.2% were married couples living together, 14.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.7% were non-families. 35.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 19.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.20 and the average family size was 2.85.
Pick the Ideal Interior Design School near Fayette AL
Selecting the ideal interior designer school is a critical first step toward starting your career in this creative and gratifying occupation. Locating a school where you will obtain your training and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a challenging job no matter what major you have decided on. As with any undertaking to attain an advanced education, there are several factors to consider before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. But it is still imperative that you carry out 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 programs so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Fayette AL.
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