How to Select the Right Interior Designer Program near Elmore Alabama
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design college near Elmore 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 interiors, it’s imperative that you receive the appropriate training to put your skills to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s essential that you perform the appropriate research in order to assess and compare each college that you are looking at prior to making your final decision. But where do you begin? Many potential students will launch their research by searching for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are key issues when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation need to be taken into consideration as well. We will discuss those issues and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at 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 Decoration compared to Interior Design
Many people mistake interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The main difference between the two is the level of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, working 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 trained to make living or work spaces attractive as well as functional. On many occasions they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Elmore AL may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public areas, designers normally focus predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the main consideration.
There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, including lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. They have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui concepts, Elmore AL interior designers employ a wide range of skills that help bring about their final creations.
Interior Designer Degree Options
There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to obtain the training necessary to begin your new profession in Elmore AL. Your choice will no doubt be driven by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in some states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum amount of education needed to enter the field. They take approximately 2 years to finish and programs are available at numerous Alabama trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can normally obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that furnish more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative facets of the business needed to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced design training after achieving the 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 enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are mostly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are generally completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work professionally and use the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be called for before a candidate can take the licensing exam.
Interior Designer Online Schools
For individuals who wish to study in the comfort of their Elmore AL homes, there are accredited online interior design schools. Studying online can be an excellent option for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For some students online schools 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 traditional options. Additional expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated also. Just be sure that the program you enroll in 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 learning. If you have the discipline to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Design Schools
Once you have decided on the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of reviewing your college options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the school has to be within driving distance from your Elmore AL residence. Naturally if you have decided on attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will narrow down your options as well. But picking the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to home are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you should consider as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a list of questions that you may want to ask the schools you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you compare and ultimately select the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It’s essential to confirm that the interior design school and program that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive assessment of their programs and instructors. Just make sure 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 confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are outstanding, it might also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Elmore AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States mandating licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. So aside from providing an excellent education, the Elmore AL college you choose should also furnish the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some support in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It may also signify that the college has a significant network of Elmore AL business connections where they can place students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Elmore AL schools you are looking at and find out what type of aid they offer. A number of interior design colleges provide financial aid to their incoming students. Some schools offer partial scholarships and others provide support in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Elmore AL programs you are considering what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Elmore home, visit the college and attend a few classes. While there speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior designer college you choose offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Elmore AL, make certain that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option also. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Interior Design Degree Programs Elmore AL
Selecting the right interior designer school is an important first step toward launching your career in this artistic and fulfilling occupation. Finding a college where you will obtain your training and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting job no matter what major you have selected. As with any undertaking to attain an advanced education, there are several points to consider before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the business. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Interior Design Degree Programs and wanted more info on the topic Degree Needed To Be An Interior Designer. However it is still important that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design schools so that you can make the right final selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Elmore AL.
Other Alabama Designer Locations
Elmore County, Alabama
On 2 July 1901, a local mob lynched Robert (or perhaps Robin) White. In a strange turn of events, a local farmer, George White confessed in court to the killing and named five other local men as killers. Three men were convicted in the killing and sentenced to ten years in prison. On 9 June 1902 they were pardoned by Governor Jelks. In 1915 another Black man was taken from the local jail and murdered.
As of the census of 2000, there were 65,874 people, 22,737 households, and 17,552 families residing in the county. The population density was 106 people per square mile (41/km2). There were 25,733 housing units at an average density of 41 per square mile (16/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 77.02% White, 20.64% Black or African American, 0.43% Native American, 0.36% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.48% from other races, and 1.04% from two or more races. 1.22% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 22,737 households out of which 37.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.40% were married couples living together, 12.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.80% were non-families. 20.00% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.66 and the average family size was 3.07.
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