How to Pick an Interior Design College near Pell City Alabama
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer college near Pell City 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 imperative that you get the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it’s crucial that you do the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each school that you are considering prior to making your ultimate choice. But exactly where do you begin? Some future students will start their research by looking for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are important issues when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into account as well. 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 talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class options are offered.
Interior Decoration vs Interior Design
Some people confuse interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The primary 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 skill for decorating interior spaces. However, doing business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or residential spaces attractive as well as functional. On various occasions they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Pell City AL can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any area of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers frequently concentrate predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the main consideration.
There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, such as color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. They need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui concepts, Pell City AL interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final creations.
Interior Designer Training Programs
There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to get the training required to launch your new career in Pell City AL. Your choice will undoubtedly be driven by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, be sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in a number of states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum amount of training needed to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to complete and programs are available at a number of Alabama vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can typically obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical aspects of the business required to become a designer. They are the lowest credential 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 acquiring a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer alternatives in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mostly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work professionally and use the title of “Interior Designer”, many 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 examination.
Interior Designer Online Colleges
For students who to attend classes in the comfort of their Pell City AL homes, there are online accredited interior design classes. Studying online can be an excellent option for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For some students online programs may be the sole option if no interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Additional expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated also. Just make sure that the school you choose is accredited by a recognized 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 earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Interior Design Schools
When you have decided on the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of reviewing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the college needs to be within commuting distance from your Pell City AL home. Naturally if you have decided on attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But selecting the cheapest college or the one that is closest to your house are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you need to consider as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you examine and subsequently pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It’s necessary to make sure that the interior design school and program that you enroll in 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). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous evaluation 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Pell City AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. So in addition to furnishing an exceptional education, the Pell City AL college you select should also furnish the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet 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 want some help in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It could also indicate that the college has a sizable network of Pell City AL business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial aid departments for the Pell City AL schools you are looking at and ask what type of support they provide. A number of interior design schools provide financial aid to their new students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide support in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Pell City AL schools you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Pell City home, visit the school and monitor a couple of classes. While there talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior designer school you choose offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Pell City AL, make certain that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Considering Attending Interior Design School in Pell City AL?
Pell City, Alabama
Pell City is a city in St. Clair County, Alabama, United States. The city is the county seat of St. Clair County along with Ashville. At the 2000 census the population was 9,565. At the 2010 census, the city-limit population jumped to 12,695.
Pell City was founded in 1890 by railroad investors and named after George Pell of the Pell City Iron and Land Company, one of its financial backers. The city was incorporated on May 6, 1891, but nearly failed during the Panic of 1893. However, it was revived in 1902 when Sumter Cogswell built the Pell City Manufacturing Company, which subsequently became Avondale Mills, a major landmark of the town until Thunder Enterprises, a Tennessee company, bought the building and began dismantling the factory in 2008. However, on February 14, 2008 a fire started at the mill. The fire was so large it could be seen from the Chula Vista/ Springville exit on Interstate 20 (I20). It was a sad ending for the factory. However, the smokestack and water tower still stood. The mill was the economic and social center of the town during its development and early growth. Besides the textile mill, other economic endeavors included agriculture and mercantile establishments. Large cotton, soybean, and cattle farms were located in the area. Pell City increased its size in 1956 when the nearby towns of Eden and Oak Ridge were merged with the city. The first mayor was Green Evans.
The residences of Sumter Cogswell and Green Evans (Pell City’s first mayor) are two of the earliest structures, dating from the late nineteenth century. The majority of the historic structures date from 1902 to 1905.
Find the Right Interior Design School near Pell City AL
Selecting the ideal interior design college is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and gratifying profession. Finding a school where you will obtain your training and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a challenging task no matter what field you have selected. As with any undertaking to acquire a higher education, there are many factors to think about before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. However it is still essential that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare colleges so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Pell City AL.
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