How to Choose the Best Interior Design College near Eight Mile Alabama
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer school near Eight Mile AL, it’s time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential spaces, it’s important that you get the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do mandate 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 essential that you perform the appropriate research so that you can analyze and compare each college that you are considering prior to making your final selection. But where do you begin? Some potential students will begin their research by looking for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are relevant issues when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation must be considered as well. We will address those topics and other crucial questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But before we do, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training choices are offered.
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Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration
Many people mistake interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The main distinction 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. However, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make living or work spaces functional as well as attractive. On many occasions they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Eight Mile AL can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any room of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public areas, designers normally concentrate primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.
There are numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, including color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui concepts, Eight Mile AL interior designers employ a wide range of skills that contribute to their final creations.
Interior Designer Training Programs
There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to receive the training needed to start your new career in Eight Mile AL. Your selection will no doubt be driven by your career objectives as well as the money and time that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, make certain to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in a number of states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum amount of education required to enter the profession. They take about 2 years to finish and programs are offered at numerous Alabama community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that supply more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical components of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs supply advanced design training after attaining a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide alternatives in specialized 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. Doctorate programs are mainly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are normally completed in three to five years.
In order to work as a professional and use the title of “Interior Designer”, many states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be needed before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.
Online Interior Design Classes
For individuals who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their Eight Mile AL homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Attending classes online can be an excellent solution for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For some students online schools may be the only alternative if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Added expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated also. Just be sure that the program you select is accredited by a respected accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also earn 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 program may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Designer Schools
After you have decided on the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of analyzing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the school must be within driving distance from your Eight Mile AL home. Naturally if you have decided on attending a school online, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will limit your choices as well. But picking the most affordable college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you should consider also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a list of questions that you may want to address with the programs you are considering to get those answers as well as others to help you assess and ultimately select the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It’s important to verify that the interior design school and program that you enroll in has been accredited by 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). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just confirm 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 establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are excellent, it may also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Eight Mile AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the School 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 in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States calling for licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from furnishing an excellent education, the Eight Mile AL program you choose should also furnish the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy 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 received your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some support in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It may also indicate that the school has a large network of Eight Mile AL business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial aid departments for the Eight Mile AL schools you are reviewing and ask what type of assistance they provide. Many of interior design programs offer financial aid to their incoming students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide help in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Eight Mile AL schools you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Eight Mile home, go to the school and monitor a couple of classes. While there speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior design program you choose provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Eight Mile AL, verify that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option also. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Accredited Interior Design Schools Online Eight Mile AL
Choosing the ideal interior design college is an important first step toward launching your career in this artistic and gratifying profession. Locating a school where you will obtain your training and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a difficult job no matter what major you have decided on. As with any endeavor to attain a higher education, there are several points to think about before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design college are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Accredited Interior Design Schools Online and wanted more info on the topic 2 Year Interior Design Programs. However it is still imperative that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design programs so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Eight Mile AL.
Other Alabama Designer Locations
Eight Mile, Alabama
Eight Mile is an unincorporated community in Mobile County, Alabama, United States. The community is named for its distance from the city of Mobile. Part of it was annexed in the mid-20th century by the city of Prichard, Alabama.
In 2008 lightning struck a mercaptan storage tank at a Mobile Gas Service Corp. underground natural gas pipeline at the Whistler Junction gas transfer facility within the Eight Mile community. An estimated 500 US gallons (1,900 l; 420 imp gal) of Mercaptan, the chemical odorant added to natural gas to help detect leaks, spilled into the soil and groundwater for 6 months, according to Alabama state environmental officials. It has migrated to ponds and surfaced, polluting the community's air.
Beginning in 2011, residents in Eight Mile began complaining of an overwhelming mercaptan odor and associated health problems. They have concerns about the damage to their health from the chemical, and to property values from its persistent rotten egg smell. They appealed for a state and federal investigation.
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