How to Find the Best Interior Designer School near Dothan Alabama
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer college near Dothan AL, it’s time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial spaces, it’s imperative that you receive the appropriate training to put your talents to work. And since a number of 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 crucial that you carry out the appropriate research in order to analyze and compare each school that you are considering before you make your final selection. But exactly where do you start? A number of future students will launch their research by searching for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are important issues when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into account as well. We will discuss 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 training alternatives are offered.
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Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration
Often people mistake interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The primary difference between them is the amount of education required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, working as an interior designer requires 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 work or residential spaces attractive as well as functional. On some projects they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Dothan AL may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers often focus predominantly 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 emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the main consideration.
There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui principles, Dothan AL interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final creations.
Interior Design Degree Options
There are four degree options available in interior design to receive the training needed to begin your new profession in Dothan AL. Your decision will undoubtedly be driven by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, be sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in some states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum amount of training required to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to complete and programs are available at numerous Alabama community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can commonly 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 deal with the technical and creative facets of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs provide advanced training in design after achieving a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer options in specialty 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. Doctoral programs are primarily for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work as a professional and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, many states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be required before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.
Online Interior Designer Classes
For anyone wishing’ to study in the comfort of their Dothan AL homes, there are accredited online interior design degrees. Attending classes online can be a great alternative for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For some students online programs may be the sole option if no interior design programs 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 minimized or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the school you pick is accredited by a respected accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the dedication to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the perfect option for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Design Schools
When you have chosen the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of analyzing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the college must be within commuting distance from your Dothan AL residence. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will narrow down your options as well. But selecting the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you need to consider also, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a few concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others to help you assess and ultimately select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It’s necessary to verify that the interior design program and school that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Dothan AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate 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 as well. Therefore in addition to providing an outstanding education, the Dothan AL school you select should also furnish the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will no doubt need some support in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It may also signify that the college has a substantial network of Dothan AL business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Dothan AL schools you are evaluating and find out what kind of support they provide. A number of interior designer programs offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Dothan AL programs you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Dothan home, visit the campus and attend a couple of classes. While there speak 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, confirm that the interior design college you enroll in provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Dothan AL, verify that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option also. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Degree For Interior Design Dothan AL
Picking the right interior designer program is a crucial initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and gratifying profession. Searching for a college where you will obtain your training and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a challenging job no matter what field you have selected. As with any undertaking to acquire a higher education, there are several points to think about before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, make sure 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 Degree For Interior Design and wanted more info on the topic Major Interior Design. However it is still important that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the right final selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Dothan AL.
Other Alabama Designer Locations
Dothan /ˈdoʊθən/ is a city in Dale, Henry, and Houston counties in the U.S. state of Alabama. It is the county seat of Houston County and the seventh largest city in Alabama, with a population of 65,496 at the 2010 census. It is near the state's southeastern corner, approximately 20 miles (32 km) west of the Georgia state line and 16 miles (26 km) north of Florida. It is named after the biblical city, the place where Joseph's brothers threw him into a cistern and sold him into slavery in Egypt.
Dothan is the principal city of the Dothan, Alabama metropolitan area, which encompasses all of Geneva, Henry, and Houston counties; the small portion in Dale County is part of the Ozark Micropolitan Statistical Area. The combined population of the entire Dothan metropolitan area in 2010 was 145,639. The city serves as the main transportation and commercial hub for a significant part of southeastern Alabama, southwest Georgia, and nearby portions of the Florida Panhandle. Since approximately one-fourth of the U.S. peanut crop is produced nearby, much of it processed in the city, Dothan is known as "The Peanut Capital of the World". It also hosts the annual National Peanut Festival at the dedicated "Peanut Festival Fairgrounds".
The area that is now Dothan was inhabited for thousands of years by successive cultures of indigenous peoples. In historic times it was occupied by the Alabama and Creek Native American tribes who were hunters and gatherers in the vast forests of pine that covered this region. These tribes had developed complex cultures, and often used to meet and camp for trading near a large spring at the crossroads of two trails.
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