How to Pick the Right Interior Design Course near Akron Alabama
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design school near Akron AL, it’s time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial spaces, it’s imperative that you obtain the proper training to put your talents to work. And since several states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it’s vital that you perform the proper research so that you can analyze and compare each program that you are looking at before you make your final selection. But just where do you start? A number of potential students will launch their research by searching for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are key factors when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation need to be taken into account as well. We will cover those topics and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training options are available.
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Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Some people mistake interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The main difference between the two is the level of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they have 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 and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or living areas functional as well as attractive. On some occasions they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Akron AL may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers normally concentrate primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may focus more on functionality over looks as the main concern.
There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui principles, Akron AL interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that help bring about their final creations.
Interior Design Degree Programs
There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to acquire the training necessary to launch your new profession in Akron AL. Your decision will no doubt be driven by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in several 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 furnish the minimum amount of education needed to enter the profession. They take approximately two years to finish and programs are available at a number of Alabama trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can typically obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that furnish more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical aspects of the business 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 provide advanced design training after acquiring the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer choices in specialty majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate 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 usually completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work as a professional and use the title of “Interior Designer”, many states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be called for before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.
Online Interior Design Classes
For students who to study in the comfort of their Akron AL homes, there are accredited online interior design colleges. Attending classes online can be an excellent alternative for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For a number of students online schools may be the only 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 reduced or eliminated also. Just be sure that the college you pick is accredited by a respected accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also obtain 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 structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the perfect option for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Design Schools
Once you have selected the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of assessing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the campus must be within driving distance from your Akron AL residence. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will limit your options also. But picking the cheapest school or the one that is closest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you need to look at as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a few questions that you may want to ask the schools you are considering to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and ultimately choose the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It’s essential to confirm that the interior designer school and program that you enroll in 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). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just verify that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are excellent, it may also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Akron AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States requiring licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore aside from furnishing an exceptional education, the Akron AL program you enroll in should also provide the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ exam 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 obtained your interior design certification, you will no doubt need some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It could also indicate that the college has a sizable network of Akron AL business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial aid offices for the Akron AL colleges you are reviewing and ask what kind of support they offer. A number of interior design colleges provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Various colleges provide 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 imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Akron AL programs you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Akron home, go to the college and attend a couple of classes. While there talk with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior design program you select provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Akron AL, verify that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Colleges Offering Interior Design Akron AL
Choosing the right interior designer program is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this creative and gratifying occupation. Locating a college where you will receive your training and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a daunting job no matter what field you have chosen. As with any endeavor to receive an advanced education, there are several points to consider before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the business. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Colleges Offering Interior Design and wanted more info on the topic How To Be An Interior Designer. However it is still important that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Akron AL.
Other Alabama Designer Locations
Akron (/ˈækrɒn/) is a town in Hale County, Alabama, United States. In 1906, the owner of a large plantation, Waller Evan Wedgworth, sold part of his land to developers, and a construction boom followed. The town was incorporated in March 1918. At the 2010 census the population was 356, down from 521 at the 2000 census. Akron has one site on the National Register of Historic Places, the Greek Revival cottage known as Tanglewood.
Akron is located in northwestern Hale County at 32°52′35″N 87°44′28″W / 32.87639°N 87.74111°W / 32.87639; -87.74111 (32.876425, -87.740978), 3 miles (5 km) southeast of the Black Warrior River and 1 mile (1.6 km) northwest of Alabama State Route 60. Greensboro, the Hale County seat, is 17 miles (27 km) to the southeast. Eutaw is 14 miles (23 km) by road to the southwest, and Moundville is the same distance to the northeast.
As of the 2010 Census Akron had a population of 356. The racial and ethnic composition of the population was 86.5% black or African American, 13.2% white, 0.3% reporting two or more races and 0.3% Hispanic or Latino of any race.
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