How to Pick the Best Interior Design College near Auburn Alabama
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer school near Auburn 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 imperative that you receive the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it’s vital that you perform the appropriate research so that you can evaluate and compare each school that you are considering before you make your final choice. But where do you start? A number of prospective students will start their research by searching for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are key variables when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation need to be considered as well. We will address those topics and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are reviewing 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 options are offered.
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Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration
Some people mistake interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The primary distinction between the two is the amount of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or residential spaces attractive as well as functional. On various occasions they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Auburn AL may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any area of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial areas, designers frequently concentrate primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.
There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, including lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui principles, Auburn AL interior designers implement a wide range of skills that contribute to their final creations.
Interior Designer Degrees
There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to acquire the training necessary to launch your new profession in Auburn AL. Your decision will no doubt be motivated by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make certain to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in several states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum amount of training required to enter the profession. They take about two years to finish and programs are available at numerous Alabama community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical aspects of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a graduating student in order to secure 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 choices 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 desire 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.
In order to work professionally and use the title of “Interior Designer”, many states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be called for before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.
Online Interior Designer Classes
For individuals who wish to study in the convenience of their Auburn AL homes, there are online accredited interior design colleges. Attending classes online can be a good option for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For some students online programs may be the only option if no interior design schools are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Additional expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated also. Just make certain that the school you choose is accredited by a recognized 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 dedication to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the perfect alternative for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Programs
Once you have decided on the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of analyzing your college options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the school has to be within commuting distance from your Auburn AL residence. Naturally 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 expense for tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But choosing the cheapest college or the one that is closest to home are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you need to consider as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a list of questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are looking at to obtain those answers as well as others to help you compare and subsequently select the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It’s imperative to confirm that the interior design college and program that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are exceptional, it may also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Auburn AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do mandate 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 several of those States calling for licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required as well. So aside from providing an outstanding education, the Auburn AL college you enroll in should also furnish the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ examination 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 designer certification, you will probably need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design field and its students are sought after. It might also signify that the school has a substantial network of Auburn AL business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Auburn AL schools you are looking at and find out what type of aid they offer. A number of interior design programs offer financial assistance to their new students. Certain schools offer partial scholarships while others provide support in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately 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 minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Auburn AL schools you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Auburn home, visit the school and monitor a couple of classes. While there talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior design school you choose provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Auburn AL, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option also. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Interior Design Courses Home Study Auburn AL
Selecting the right interior design college is a crucial initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and gratifying profession. Finding a college where you will obtain your education and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a daunting task no matter what field you have decided on. As with any endeavor to attain an advanced education, there are many factors to think about before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, check that the design college and program are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Interior Design Courses Home Study and wanted more info on the topic Interior Designer Education. However it is still important that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design schools so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Auburn AL.
Other Alabama Designer Locations
Auburn is a city in Lee County, Alabama, United States. It is the largest city in eastern Alabama with a 2016 population of 63,118. It is a principal city of the Auburn-Opelika Metropolitan Area. The Auburn-Opelika, AL MSA with a population of 158,991, along with the Columbus, GA-AL MSA and Tuskegee, Alabama, comprises the greater Columbus-Auburn-Opelika, GA-AL CSA, a region home to 501,649 residents.
Auburn is a historic college town and is the home of Auburn University. It is Alabama's fastest-growing metropolitan area and the nineteenth fastest-growing metro area in the United States since 1990. U.S. News ranked Auburn among its top ten list of best places to live in the United States for the year 2009. The city's unofficial nickname is “The Loveliest Village On The Plains,” taken from a line in the poem The Deserted Village by Oliver Goldsmith: “Sweet Auburn! loveliest village of the plain...”
Inhabited in antiquity by the Creek, the land on which Auburn sits was opened to settlement in 1832 with the Treaty of Cusseta. The first settlers arrived in the winter of 1836 from Harris County, Georgia. These settlers, led by Judge John J. Harper, intended to build a town that would be the religious and educational center for the area.