How to Choose an Interior Designer Degree Program near Attalla Alabama
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design school near Attalla AL, it’s time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial spaces, it’s important that you receive the appropriate training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it’s vital that you do the proper research in order to evaluate and compare each college that you are looking at prior to making your final choice. But where do you start? A number of future students will kick off their research by looking for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are relevant issues when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation need to be taken into account also. We will discuss those issues and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But before we do, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are available.
Interior Decoration and Interior Design
Many people confuse interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The main distinction between the two is the amount of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. However, working as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or residential areas attractive as well as functional. On various occasions they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are two broad areas that an interior designer in Attalla AL may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any room of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers frequently 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 emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.
There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, including lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. They must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Attalla AL interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that help bring about their final creations.
Interior Designer Degree Options
There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to acquire the training required to start your new profession in Attalla AL. Your selection will no doubt be influenced by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have to commit to your education. But no matter 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) examination required in a number of states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum amount of education required to enter the profession. They take approximately 2 years to finish and programs are offered at many Alabama vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that supply more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative components of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced training in design after acquiring the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide 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 their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are mostly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are normally completed in three to five 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 some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.
Online Interior Designer Schools
For students who to attend classes in the comfort of their Attalla AL homes, there are accredited online interior design colleges. Attending classes online can be a great option for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For many students online programs may be the sole option if no interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Additional costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated also. 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 acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the right option for you.
What to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
Once you have selected the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of assessing your school options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the college needs to be within driving distance from your Attalla AL home. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will narrow down your options also. But picking the most affordable college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you need to look at as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a list of questions that you may want to address with the programs you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and subsequently choose the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It’s imperative to make sure that the interior designer college and program that you select has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. 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 undergone a rigorous evaluation 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 organization. Not only will it help confirm 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 offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Attalla AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do mandate that interior designers get 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 requiring licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. So in addition to providing an excellent education, the Attalla AL school you enroll in should also furnish the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are looking at 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 school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It might also signify that the college has a significant network of Attalla AL business connections where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Attalla AL colleges you are reviewing and ask what kind of assistance they provide. A number of interior designer colleges provide financial assistance to their new students. Various schools offer partial scholarships while others provide help in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classes? Small 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. Ask the Attalla AL programs you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Attalla home, visit the campus and attend 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 Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior design college you select provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Attalla AL, confirm that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Considering Attending Interior Design School in Attalla AL?
The town occupies the site of an Indian village which was of considerable importance during the Creek War. It was in Attalla that David Brown, a Cherokee assisted by the Rev. D. S. Butterick, prepared the Cherokee Spelling Book.
Attalla was not founded until 1870, on land donated by W. C. Hammond, a plantation owner. It was incorporated as a city government on February 5, 1872. The town was officially named "Attalla" in 1893, from the Cherokee language word meaning "mountain". Attalla was prosperous until the railroads that it depended on went into bankruptcy.
William Lewis Moore, a U.S. postman and white civil rights activist, was murdered here on April 23, 1963 as he tried to walk from Chattanooga, Tennessee to Jackson, Mississippi to deliver his letter in support of civil rights to Mississippi Governor Ross Barnett. The suspected murderer, Floyd Simpson, was never charged with the crime.]].
Select the Best Interior Design School near Attalla AL
Selecting the ideal interior designer college is a critical first step toward launching your career in this creative and gratifying profession. Locating a school where you will obtain your education and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a challenging job regardless of what major you have decided on. As with any undertaking to acquire a higher education, there are several points to consider before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, confirm that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the field. However it is still imperative that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare programs so that you can make the right final selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Attalla AL.
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