How to Pick an Interior Design College near Hatchechubbee Alabama
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer college near Hatchechubbee 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 essential that you receive the right training to put your skills to work. And since some states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it’s crucial that you carry out the proper research so that you can analyze and compare each program that you are looking at before you make your ultimate selection. But where do you begin? A number of potential students will start their research by looking for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are relevant factors when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into account also. We will address 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 and Interior Decoration
Some people confuse interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The primary distinction between the two is the level of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, working as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in a number of 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 various occasions they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Hatchechubbee AL may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers normally concentrate primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.
There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers have to 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, Hatchechubbee AL interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final designs.
Interior Design Degrees
There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to receive the training required to start your new profession in Hatchechubbee AL. Your decision will no doubt be driven by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in some states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum amount of training needed to enter the field. They take approximately 2 years to finish and programs are available at numerous Alabama trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can normally obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that supply more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical facets of the business needed to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced training in design after acquiring the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide choices in specialized 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. Doctorate programs are primarily for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are usually completed in three to five years.
To work as a professional and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, many states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be needed before an applicant can take the licensing examination.
Interior Designer Online Degree Programs
For those who wish to study in the convenience of their Hatchechubbee AL homes, there are online accredited interior design classes. Attending classes online can be a great solution for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For many students online programs may be the only alternative if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make sure that the school you pick is accredited by a highly regarded 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 education. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Design Programs
Once you have chosen the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of assessing your college options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the campus needs to be within driving distance from your Hatchechubbee AL home. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will decrease your choices also. But picking 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 also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Below are a list of questions that you may want to address with the programs you are looking at to get those answers as well as others to help you assess and ultimately pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It’s imperative to confirm that the interior designer program and school that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding assessment of their programs and instructors. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college 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 excellent, it might also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Hatchechubbee AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States mandating licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required also. So in addition to providing an excellent education, the Hatchechubbee AL school you choose should also furnish the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy 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 received your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It may also signify that the college has a large network of Hatchechubbee AL business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Hatchechubbee AL schools you are looking at and ask what kind of aid they provide. A number of interior designer schools provide financial assistance to their new students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide support in acquiring grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Hatchechubbee AL programs you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Hatchechubbee home, visit the school 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 philosophies are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior design school you choose provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Hatchechubbee AL, make sure that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Considering Attending Interior Design School in Hatchechubbee AL?
Russell County, Alabama
Russell County is a county of the U.S. state of Alabama. As of the 2010 census, the population was 52,947. Its county seat is Phenix City. Its name is in honor of Colonel Gilbert C. Russell, who fought in the wars against the Creek Indians.
Russell County was established by an act of the state general assembly on December 18, 1832, from lands ceded to the state by the Creek Native Americans. The county seat has changed several times: Girard (1833–1839), Crawford originally Crockettsville (1839–1868), Seale (1868–1935) and Phenix City (1935–present). It was named for War of 1812, Col. Gilbert Christian Russell, Sr., 1782–1861, 3rd U.S. Infantry.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 52,947 people residing in the county. 53.7% were White, 41.8% Black or African American, 0.4% Asian, 0.4% Native American, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 1.3% of some other race and 2.1% of two or more races. 3.7% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race).
Choose the Ideal Interior Design School near Hatchechubbee AL
Choosing the right interior designer college is an important initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and fulfilling occupation. Locating a school where you will obtain your training and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a challenging job no matter what major you have decided on. As with any undertaking to acquire a higher education, there are many things to consider before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the business. However it is still essential that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare programs so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Hatchechubbee AL.
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