How to Choose an Interior Design Course near Guin Alabama
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design school near Guin 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 spaces, it’s imperative that you get the right training to put your skills to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it’s essential that you do the proper research so that you can analyze and compare each school that you are considering before you make your ultimate decision. But exactly where do you start? A number of future students will kick off their research by searching for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are important factors when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation must be taken into consideration as well. We will cover those topics and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are interested in 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 offered.
Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration
Many people confuse interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The key distinction between them is the level of education required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. However, working as an interior designer requires a formal education 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 many projects they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are two broad categories that an interior designer in Guin AL can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers often focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be focused on 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 must learn, such as lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. They need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Guin AL interior designers employ a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
Interior Designer Degrees
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to acquire the training required to launch your new career in Guin AL. Your selection will no doubt be motivated by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, make certain to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in several states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum amount of education needed to enter the profession. They take approximately 2 years to complete and programs are available at many Alabama vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that provide 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 minimum degree needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs provide advanced design training after attaining a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide choices in specialty majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are largely for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are normally 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 some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be needed before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.
Online Interior Designer Classes
For students who to study in the convenience of their Guin AL homes, there are online accredited interior design schools. Attending classes online can be a good option for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For some students online schools may be the only option if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Additional expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the college you select is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the perfect alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Design Programs
After you have decided on the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of reviewing your college options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the school must be within commuting distance from your Guin AL home. Naturally 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 fee for tuition will limit your choices also. But picking the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you should look at also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a list of questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others to help you compare and subsequently select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It’s imperative to make sure that the interior design school and program that you select has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are outstanding, it might also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Guin AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the College Ready 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) exam as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. So besides providing an outstanding education, the Guin AL school you enroll in should also provide the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ exam 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 attained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some support in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It may also indicate that the school has a significant network of Guin AL business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Guin AL schools you are reviewing and find out what type of support they offer. A number of interior design programs provide financial aid to their incoming students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide help in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Guin AL programs you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Guin home, go to the college and sit in on a couple of classes. While there speak with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior designer college you select offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Guin AL, make certain that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Considering Attending Interior Design School in Guin AL?
Guin is a city in Marion County, Alabama, United States. It is part of the Huntsville-Decatur-Albertville, AL Combined Statistical Area. It incorporated in December 1889. It is the birthplace of the band Scufflegrit. At the 2010 census the population was 2,376. On July 13, 2010, the citizens of Guin voted to become the first city in Marion County, since Prohibition, to allow the sale of alcohol.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,389 people, 1,027 households, and 666 families residing in the city. The population density was 191.5 people per square mile (74.0/km²). There were 1,168 housing units at an average density of 93.6 per square mile (36.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 86.69% White, 11.85% Black or African American, 0.46% Native American, 0.08% Asian, 0.29% from other races, and 0.63% from two or more races. 0.54% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 1,027 households out of which 28.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.1% were married couples living together, 13.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.1% were non-families. 32.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 2.88.
Choose the Ideal Interior Design School near Guin AL
Choosing the right interior designer school is a critical initial step toward launching your career in this creative and gratifying occupation. Finding a school where you will receive your training and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a challenging job regardless of what major you have selected. As with any endeavor 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 school are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. However it is still essential that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare colleges so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Guin AL.
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