How to Enroll in the Best Interior Designer College near Hanceville Alabama
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Hanceville AL, it’s time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential interiors, it’s imperative that you obtain the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it’s vital that you perform the appropriate research in order to analyze and compare each program that you are looking at before you make your final decision. But exactly where do you begin? A number of potential students will launch their research by searching for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are important issues when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation must be considered as well. We will address those issues and other vital 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 options are offered.
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Interior Decoration vs Interior Design
Many people confuse interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The main difference 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 areas. On the other hand, working as an interior designer necessitates formal training 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 living areas attractive as well as functional. On some projects they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are two general areas that an interior designer in Hanceville AL may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any room of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers frequently concentrate primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.
There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, such as lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui principles, Hanceville AL interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that contribute to their final designs.
Interior Designer Degree Options
There are four degree options offered in interior design to acquire the training required to launch your new career in Hanceville AL. Your selection will undoubtedly be influenced by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, be sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in a number of states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum level of education required to enter the field. They take about 2 years to complete and programs are available at a number of Alabama trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can usually obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical facets of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced training in design after acquiring a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide choices in specialty majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are primarily for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are generally completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work as a professional and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, many states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be needed before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.
Online Interior Design Classes
For those who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Hanceville AL homes, there are online accredited interior design programs. Attending classes online can be an excellent option for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For a number of students online programs may be the only option if no interior design schools are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Additional expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the college you pick is accredited by a respected accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the right alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
Once you have decided on the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of assessing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the college must be within commuting distance from your Hanceville AL home. Naturally if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will decrease your choices also. But selecting the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you should consider as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a few questions that you may want to ask the programs you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and subsequently choose the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program 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 respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding 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 establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are outstanding, it might also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Hanceville AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do mandate that interior designers become 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 school. And in several of those States requiring licensing, a minimum of 2 years of occupational experience may be required also. So in addition to providing an excellent education, the Hanceville AL college you choose should also furnish the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some help in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It may also signify that the school has a sizable network of Hanceville AL business connections where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial aid departments for the Hanceville AL schools you are looking at and ask what type of support they provide. A number of interior design colleges provide financial assistance to their new students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide help in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Hanceville AL programs you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Hanceville home, go to the college and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to 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 Fit your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior design program you select provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Hanceville AL, confirm that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
What Education Is Needed To Become An Interior Designer Hanceville AL
Selecting the ideal interior design school is a critical initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and fulfilling occupation. Searching for a school where you will obtain your training and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a daunting task regardless of what major you have selected. As with any endeavor to receive an advanced education, there are many things to consider before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in What Education Is Needed To Become An Interior Designer and wanted more info on the topic Accredited Local Interior Design Degrees. However it is still essential that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design schools so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Hanceville AL.
Other Alabama Designer Locations
Founded in Blount County, Hanceville was incorporated in May 1879. At the time of Cullman County's creation in 1877, half of Hanceville resided in each county. In 1885, county boundaries were redrawn and all of Hanceville was placed within Blount County. In 1901, county boundaries were redrawn again and this time all of the town was placed within Cullman County, for which it has remained.
Hanceville is located in southeastern Cullman County at 34°3′48″N 86°45′39″W / 34.06333°N 86.76083°W / 34.06333; -86.76083 (34.063463, -86.760908).U.S. Route 31 passes through the city, leading north 9 miles (14 km) to Cullman, the county seat, and south 14 miles (23 km) to Smoke Rise.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,951 people, 1,167 households, and 710 families residing in the city. The population density was 718.6 people per square mile (277.2/km²). There were 1,323 housing units at an average density of 322.2 per square mile (124.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 93.09% White, 4.61% Black or African American, 0.61% Native American, 0.07% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.75% from other races, and 0.85% from two or more races. 2.30% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
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