How to Pick the Right Interior Design College near Brewton Alabama
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design degree program near Brewton AL, it’s time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential interiors, it’s imperative that you get the appropriate training to put your skills to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s vital that you perform the appropriate research so that you can analyze and compare each college that you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate choice. But exactly where do you start? A number of potential students will begin their research by searching for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are important factors when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into consideration also. We will cover those topics and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But first, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training choices are available.
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Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration
Many people mistake interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The main difference between them is the amount of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make living or work areas attractive as well as functional. On some occasions they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are two broad areas that an interior designer in Brewton AL can 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 may specialize in designing one particular room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers often concentrate predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.
There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, including 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 carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui principles, Brewton AL interior designers employ a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
Interior Designer Degree Options
There are four degree options available in interior design to receive the training needed to launch your new career in Brewton AL. Your choice will no doubt be motivated by your career objectives in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in some states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum amount of education required to enter the profession. They take approximately two years to complete and programs are available at many Alabama trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can typically obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that provide more comprehensive 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 degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced design training after achieving a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide alternatives in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are mainly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work as a professional and use the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be called for before a candidate can take the licensing exam.
Online Interior Designer Classes
For individuals who wish to study in the convenience of their Brewton AL homes, there are online accredited interior design degrees. Studying online can be an excellent solution for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For some students online colleges may be the only option if no interior design schools are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Added expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the college you choose 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 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.
Topics to Ask Interior Design Colleges
When you have chosen the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of analyzing your school options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the college must be within driving distance from your Brewton AL residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will limit your options as well. But selecting the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you need to consider also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a few concerns that you may want to address with the colleges you are considering to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and ultimately select the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It’s necessary to verify that the interior design college and program that you enroll in has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. 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 instructors and programs. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Brewton AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do mandate 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 program. And in some of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required also. So besides furnishing an exceptional education, the Brewton AL program you select should also provide the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will probably want some help in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It may also indicate that the school has a significant network of Brewton AL business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Brewton AL schools you are looking at and ask what kind of aid they provide. A number of interior design colleges provide financial assistance to their new students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide support in securing federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Brewton AL programs you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Brewton home, visit the campus and monitor a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior designer college you select provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Brewton AL, make certain that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative as well. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Top Interior Design Colleges Brewton AL
Selecting the right interior design school is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this creative and gratifying profession. Locating a college where you will receive your training and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a daunting job no matter what field you have selected. As with any undertaking to receive an advanced education, there are several factors to think about before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the profession. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Top Interior Design Colleges and wanted more info on the topic Online Interior Design Certificate. But it is still important that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Brewton AL.
Other Alabama Designer Locations
Brewton is a city in Escambia County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census, the population was 5,408. The city is the county seat of Escambia County. Brewton is located in south central Alabama, just north of the Florida Panhandle.
In May 1861, the city of Brewton began as a train station under Edmund Troupe Bruton. The settlement was originally known as Newport when barges made runs to and from Pensacola, Florida on Murder Creek and Burnt Corn Creek before the installation of rail.
During the Civil War rail lines were severed, and small lumber mills were damaged or destroyed. However, after the war those who returned or arrived rebuilt the Brewton economy, began a school, and established small businesses. Into the 1870s a new European demand for lumber stimulated the founding of numerous timber and lumber operations. The Conecuh-Escambia river system became a timber artery to the Gulf.
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