How to Pick the Best Interior Design College near Fairhope Alabama
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer school near Fairhope AL, it’s time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential spaces, it’s imperative that you receive the right training to put your talents to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s vital that you perform the proper research in order to analyze and compare each program that you are looking at before you make your ultimate selection. But exactly where do you begin? Some prospective students will start their research by looking for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are important variables when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into account also. We will discuss those issues and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But before we do, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class options are offered.
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Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration
Some people confuse interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The principal distinction between the two is the amount of education required. Anyone can work 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 numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make living or work areas functional as well as attractive. On many occasions they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Fairhope AL can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any room of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers frequently focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the main consideration.
There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, such as lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui principles, Fairhope AL interior designers implement a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
Interior Design Training Programs
There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to receive the training needed to begin your new career in Fairhope AL. Your selection will undoubtedly be influenced by your career goals as well as 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 required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in a number of states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum amount of training required to enter the profession. They take approximately two years to finish and programs are offered at many Alabama trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that provide more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative components of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced training in design after attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer options in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are mainly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are generally completed in three to five years.
In order to work as a professional and use the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be required before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.
Online Interior Design Colleges
For students who to study in the comfort of their Fairhope AL homes, there are online accredited interior design degrees. Attending classes online can be an excellent option for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For a number of students online programs may be the sole alternative if no interior design schools are within driving 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 reduced or eliminated also. Just make certain that the college you enroll in is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, 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 distance or online education. If you have the discipline to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
Once you have selected the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the task of reviewing your college options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the school has to be within driving distance from your Fairhope AL residence. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will limit your options as well. But picking the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you need to consider as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the program. Below are a few concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and ultimately select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It’s necessary to verify that the interior design school and program that you enroll in has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment of their programs and teachers. 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 establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it may also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Fairhope AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required also. Therefore besides providing an exceptional education, the Fairhope AL college you enroll in should also furnish the proper training to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some support in finding your first job. 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 higher rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It might also indicate that the school has a significant network of Fairhope AL business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Fairhope AL schools you are looking at and ask what kind of assistance they offer. A number of interior design schools provide financial aid to their new students. Various schools offer partial scholarships and others provide help in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Fairhope AL schools you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Fairhope home, go to the college and monitor a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior design college you choose offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Fairhope AL, confirm that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an option also. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Interior Designer Program Fairhope AL
Choosing the ideal interior designer program is a crucial initial step toward starting your career in this creative and gratifying profession. Searching for a school where you will receive your education and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a challenging job no matter what major you have selected. As with any undertaking to receive a higher education, there are many points to think about before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the profession. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Interior Designer Program and wanted more info on the topic Course Interior Design. However it is still important that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design schools so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Fairhope AL.
Other Alabama Designer Locations
Fairhope is a city in Baldwin County, Alabama, United States, on a sloping plateau, along the cliffs and shoreline of Mobile Bay. The 2010 census lists the population of the city as 15,326. Fairhope is a principal city of the Daphne-Fairhope-Foley micropolitan area, which includes all of Baldwin County. In 2016, Fairhope was named the best small town in the South by Southern Living magazine.
Fairhope was founded in November 1894 on the site of the former Alabama City as a radical Georgist "Single-Tax" colony by the Fairhope Industrial Association, a group of 28 followers of economist Henry George who had incorporated earlier that year in Des Moines, Iowa. Their corporate constitution explained their purpose in founding a new colony:
In forming their demonstration project, they pooled their funds to purchase land at "Stapleton's pasture" on the eastern shore of Mobile Bay and then divided it into a number of long-term leaseholds. The corporation paid all governmental taxes from rents paid by the lessees, thus simulating a single-tax. The purpose of the single-tax colony was to eliminate disincentives for productive use of land and thereby retain the value of land for the community.
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