How to Choose an Interior Designer Program near Oneonta Alabama
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer college near Oneonta AL, it’s time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential interiors, it’s imperative that you obtain the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it’s essential that you do the appropriate research in order to assess and compare each program that you are looking at prior to making your final selection. But just where do you begin? A number of future students will start their research by searching for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are relevant factors when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation need to be considered as well. We will cover those topics and other important 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 class choices are available.
Interior Decoration vs Interior Design
Some people mistake interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The principal difference between them is the amount of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. 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 educated to make work or living spaces functional as well as attractive. On various projects they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad areas that an interior designer in Oneonta AL may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any area of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers frequently focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.
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 need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui concepts, Oneonta AL interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
Interior Design Degree Programs
There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to get the training necessary to begin your new profession in Oneonta AL. Your choice will undoubtedly be driven by your career objectives in addition to the money and time that you have to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in some states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum amount of education needed to enter the field. They take roughly two years to complete and programs are available at a number of Alabama community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical facets of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced training in design after attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer options in specialized majors in general areas such 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 primarily for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are typically completed in three to five years.
In order to work as a professional and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be called for before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.
Online Interior Designer Schools
For individuals who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Oneonta AL homes, there are online accredited interior design schools. Studying online can be an excellent solution for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For many students online colleges may be the sole 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 expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the school you select is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also receive 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 confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Design Colleges
Once you have selected the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of reviewing your school options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the school must be within driving distance from your Oneonta AL home. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will decrease your choices as well. But choosing the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you should look at also, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a few questions that you may want to address with the programs you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and subsequently pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It’s imperative to verify 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 obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive assessment of their instructors and programs. Just make sure 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 verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are outstanding, it might also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Oneonta AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Ready 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 as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore besides providing an outstanding education, the Oneonta AL program you choose should also provide the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will probably need some support in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its students are sought after. It could also indicate that the college has a large network of Oneonta AL business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial aid offices for the Oneonta AL schools you are evaluating and find out what kind of support they offer. Many of interior design programs provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide help in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Oneonta AL programs you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Oneonta home, visit the college and monitor a few 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 credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior design program you select provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Oneonta AL, confirm that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative as well. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.
Considering Attending Interior Design School in Oneonta AL?
Oneonta is a city in Blount County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 6,567. The city is the county seat of Blount County. Oneonta is home to the Covered Bridge Festival.
A post office called Oneonta has been in operation since 1889. The city was named after Oneonta, New York, the native home of a railroad official. In 1889, the county seat was transferred to Oneonta from Blountsville.
Oneonta is located in eastern Blount County at 33°56'32.291" North, 86°28'43.586" West (33.942303, -86.478774). It is situated in Murphree Valley between Red Mountain and Sand Mountain to the northwest and Straight Mountain to the southeast.
Choose the Right Interior Design School near Oneonta AL
Selecting the ideal interior designer school is a crucial initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and fulfilling profession. Searching for a school where you will receive your education and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a daunting task regardless of what field you have selected. As with any endeavor to recieve a higher education, there are several things to consider before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the business. However it is still important that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare schools so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Oneonta AL.
More Awesome Cities in Alabama
Business Results 1 - 10 of 5