How to Pick an Interior Design Degree Program near Hayden Alabama
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design school near Hayden AL, it’s time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it’s important that you obtain the right training to put your skills to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it’s essential that you perform the proper research so that you can assess and compare each program that you are looking at before you make your final decision. But where do you begin? Many future students will kick off their research by searching for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are key variables when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to be considered also. We will cover those topics and other important questions that you must ask 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 choices are available.
Interior Decoration and Interior Design
Often people confuse interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The key distinction between the two is the level of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, working as an interior designer requires a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or residential areas functional as well as attractive. On many occasions they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Hayden AL can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any room of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers frequently focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.
There are numerous areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, including lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. They must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui concepts, Hayden AL interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that help bring about their final designs.
Interior Design Degree Options
There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to acquire the training necessary to start your new career in Hayden AL. Your choice will no doubt be driven by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in several states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum level of training needed to enter the profession. They take roughly 2 years to finish and programs are available at many Alabama community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can usually obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical aspects of the business required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs provide advanced design training after achieving a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer alternatives in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are mostly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are typically completed in three to five 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 needed before a candidate can take the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Colleges
For those who wish to study in the convenience of their Hayden AL homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Attending classes online can be a good alternative for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For a number of students online colleges may be the sole alternative if no interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the college you pick is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also receive 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 environment, then an online interior design college may be the right option for you.
What to Ask Interior Design Programs
After you have selected the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of analyzing your school options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your Hayden AL residence. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But selecting the most affordable college or the one that is closest to your house are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you should consider also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a list of questions that you may want to address with the programs you are looking at to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and ultimately select the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It’s important to confirm that the interior designer program and school that you select has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous evaluation 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 confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are excellent, it might also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Hayden AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required also. So in addition to providing an outstanding education, the Hayden AL school you select should also provide the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession and its students are sought after. It could also signify that the school has a sizable network of Hayden AL business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Contact the financial aid departments for the Hayden AL schools you are evaluating and ask what kind of support they provide. A number of interior designer colleges offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Various schools offer partial scholarships while others provide assistance in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Hayden AL colleges you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Hayden home, visit the campus and monitor a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior design school you select offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Hayden AL, confirm that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an option also. 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 Hayden AL?
Hayden is located in southwestern Blount County at 33°53'36.236" North, 86°45'25.139" West (33.893399, -86.756983). Hayden Mountain is a broad, low ridge that rises to the northwest above the town. Alabama State Route 160 passes through the center of the town, leading 5 miles (8 km) southwest to Interstate 65 north of Warrior, and northeast 13 miles (21 km) to Cleveland.
At the 2000 census, there were 470 people, 191 households and 136 families residing in the town. The population density was 499.1 per square mile (193.1/km²). There were 207 housing units at an average density of 219.8 per square mile (85.0/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 91.91% White, 6.60% Black or African American, 0.64% Native American, 0.43% Asian, and 0.43% from two or more races. 0.21% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 191 households of which 35.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.2% were married couples living together, 10.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.3% were non-families. 26.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 2.98.
Select the Best Interior Design School near Hayden AL
Choosing the ideal interior designer college is an important first step toward launching your career in this creative and fulfilling occupation. Finding a college where you will obtain your education and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting job regardless of what field you have decided on. As with any endeavor to acquire an advanced education, there are many things to consider before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design college are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. But it is still important that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare colleges so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Hayden AL.
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