How to Select the Right Interior Design Course near Chatom Alabama
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer school near Chatom AL, it’s time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it’s essential that you get the right training to put your skills to work. And since several states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it’s crucial that you do the appropriate research in order to analyze and compare each program that you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision. But just where do you start? Many prospective students will start their research by searching for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are important issues when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be considered as well. We will discuss those topics and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But before we do, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class alternatives are offered.
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Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The principal difference between them is the amount of education required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or residential areas attractive as well as functional. On many occasions they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are two general areas that an interior designer in Chatom AL may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public areas, designers normally focus primarily 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 hospitals and banks may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the main concern.
There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. They need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui principles, Chatom AL interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
Interior Designer Degree Options
There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to get the training necessary to start your new profession in Chatom AL. Your decision will undoubtedly be driven by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, be sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in several states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum level of training needed to enter the profession. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are offered at a number of Alabama vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can typically obtain 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 technical and creative aspects of the business needed 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 attaining a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer options in specialty majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mainly 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 three to five years.
To work as a professional and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be needed before an applicant can take the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Colleges
For students who to attend classes in the convenience of their Chatom AL homes, there are online accredited interior design degrees. Attending classes online can be an excellent alternative for those students that are working 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 schools may be the only option if no interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make 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 schools may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the perfect option for you.
What to Ask Interior Design Schools
When you have selected the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of evaluating your school options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the college must be within driving distance from your Chatom AL home. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will limit your choices as well. But picking the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you need to look at as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Following are a few questions that you may want to ask the schools you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and ultimately select the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It’s important to confirm that the interior design school and program that you select has earned accreditation from 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 receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive 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 agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Chatom AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several 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 school. And in several of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required also. So in addition to furnishing an exceptional education, the Chatom AL program you select should also furnish the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its students are sought after. It could also signify that the college has a significant network of Chatom AL business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Chatom AL colleges you are reviewing and ask what type of aid they provide. Many of interior design programs offer financial assistance to their new students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide support in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Chatom AL colleges you are considering what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Chatom home, visit the campus and sit in on a few classes. While there talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior design college you choose offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Chatom AL, make certain that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Interior Designer Schools Chatom AL
Choosing the right interior designer program is an important initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and rewarding occupation. Searching for a school where you will receive your training and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a daunting job no matter what major you have selected. As with any undertaking to acquire a higher education, there are a number of factors to consider before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Interior Designer Schools and wanted more info on the topic Good Interior Design Colleges. However it is still essential that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Chatom AL.
Other Alabama Designer Locations
Chatom is a town in Washington County, Alabama, United States. It incorporated in 1949. Chatom is the county seat of Washington County, holding the distinction since 1907. The town's population was 1,288 as of the 2010 United States Census, up from 1,193 in 2000.
Chatom is located at 31°27′42″N 88°14′53″W / 31.461656°N 88.248051°W / 31.461656; -88.248051. According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 10.9 square miles (28 km2), all land.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,193 people, 449 households, and 308 families residing in the town. The population density was 109.7 people per square mile (42.3/km2). There were 523 housing units at an average density of 48.1 per square mile (18.6/km2). The ethnic makeup of the town was 67.23% White, 32.10% Black or African American, 0.42% Native American, 0.08% from other races, and 0.17% from two or more races. 0.50% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
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