How to Pick the Best Interior Designer Course near Atmore Alabama
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design school near Atmore AL, it’s time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial interiors, it’s imperative that you receive the right training to put your talents to work. And since some states do require that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s crucial that you perform the appropriate research in order to assess and compare each school that you are considering before you make your final choice. But where do you begin? Many future students will begin their research by searching for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are important variables when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into account as well. We will address those issues 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 class choices are offered.
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Interior Decoration and Interior Design
Many people mistake interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The main difference between the two is the amount of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, working as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or living spaces functional as well as attractive. On many occasions they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Atmore AL may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any room of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers frequently concentrate predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over appearance as the main consideration.
There are numerous areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. They have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Atmore AL interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final designs.
Interior Designer Degrees
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to get the training necessary to begin your new profession in Atmore AL. Your decision will undoubtedly be driven by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in a number of states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum amount of training required to enter the field. They take about 2 years to finish and programs are available at many Alabama community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that furnish 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 lowest credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced training in design after achieving the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide options in specialty majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are primarily for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work professionally and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states require 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.
Online Interior Designer Degree Programs
For anyone wishing’ to study in the convenience of their Atmore AL homes, there are online accredited interior design degrees. Studying online can be an excellent 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 practical for the student. For many students online colleges may be the sole option if no interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Additional costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the program 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 learning. If you have the discipline to obtain your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the right option for you.
What to Ask Interior Designer Schools
Once you have selected the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of evaluating your college options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the school has to be within commuting distance from your Atmore AL residence. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will decrease your choices as well. But choosing the most affordable school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you need to consider as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a list of questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others to help you examine and subsequently choose the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It’s important to confirm that the interior designer program and school that you choose 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). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding assessment of their teachers and programs. Just confirm that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are excellent, it may also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Atmore AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do require that interior designers get 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 program. And in some of those States mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of occupational experience may be required also. So aside from furnishing an exceptional education, the Atmore AL school you choose should also provide the proper training to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some support in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It could also signify that the college has a large network of Atmore AL business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial aid offices for the Atmore AL schools you are reviewing and ask what type of aid they offer. A number of interior design programs offer financial aid to their incoming students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide support in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited college is essential 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 aid.
How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Atmore AL schools you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Atmore home, visit the school and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior design program you select offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Atmore AL, verify that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Schools That Offer Interior Design Major Atmore AL
Choosing the ideal interior designer program is an important initial step toward launching your career in this creative and fulfilling occupation. Searching for a school where you will receive your training and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult task no matter what field you have selected. As with any undertaking to attain an advanced education, there are several factors to consider before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the business. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Schools That Offer Interior Design Major and wanted more info on the topic Interior Design Online Programs. But it is still important that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design programs so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Atmore AL.
Other Alabama Designer Locations
Atmore is a city in Escambia County, Alabama, United States. It incorporated in 1907. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 10,194, with an estimated population of 10,006 in 2014. Atmore is in the planning stages to increase its economic base with additions in its new Rivercane development along the I-65 corridor.
Atmore has completed requirements to be recognized as an Alabama Community of Excellence at the upcoming Alabama League of Municipalities Convention. City officials are also working with the Alabama Historical Commission to have the downtown district listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Atmore is located in western Escambia County at 31°1′23″N 87°29′31″W / 31.02306°N 87.49194°W / 31.02306; -87.49194 (31.023183, -87.492067). Its southern border is the Florida state line. The center of town is at the intersection of U.S. Route 31 and Alabama State Route 21, while a new section of the city has been incorporated 6 miles (10 km) to the north around Exit 57 of Interstate 65. US 31 leads southwest 20 miles (32 km) to Bay Minette and east 28 miles (45 km) to Brewton. Mobile is 51 miles (82 km) to the southwest via US 31 and I-65, while Pensacola, Florida, is 49 miles (79 km) south via AL 21, Florida State Road 97, and U.S. Route 29.
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