How to Select the Right Interior Design Program near Hartselle Alabama
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design school near Hartselle 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 important that you receive the appropriate training to put your skills to work. And since some states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it’s vital that you do the proper research so that you can analyze and compare each college that you are looking at before you make your ultimate decision. But where do you start? A number of prospective students will start their research by looking for interior design courses near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are important variables when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to be considered also. We will address those issues and other crucial questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are interested in 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 alternatives are available.
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Interior Decoration vs Interior Design
Some people confuse interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The primary difference between them is the amount of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, conducting business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make living or work areas functional as well as attractive. On some occasions they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Hartselle AL may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently 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 may specialize in designing one particular room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers normally focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the primary concern.
There are numerous areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui principles, Hartselle AL interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final creations.
Interior Design Training Programs
There are four degree options available in interior design to receive the training required to launch your new profession in Hartselle AL. Your selection will no doubt be driven by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in some states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum level of education required 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 usually obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that supply more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative aspects of the business required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs supply advanced design training after acquiring a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide alternatives in specialized majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are largely for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work professionally and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, many states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be needed before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.
Online Interior Design Degree Programs
For individuals who wish to study in the convenience of their Hartselle AL homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Studying online can be a great alternative for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For many students online programs may be the only alternative if no interior design schools are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Additional costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the college you pick is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also earn 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 school may be the perfect alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Design Colleges
When you have decided on the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of assessing your college options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the college needs to be within commuting distance from your Hartselle AL home. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will narrow down your choices also. But picking the most affordable college or the one that is closest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you need to look at also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a few questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and ultimately select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It’s necessary to confirm that the interior design school and program that you select has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding 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 establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are excellent, it might also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Hartselle AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. So in addition to furnishing an outstanding education, the Hartselle AL program you select should also provide the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It could also indicate that the college has a significant network of Hartselle AL business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Hartselle AL colleges you are looking at and find out what type of aid they provide. A number of interior design colleges provide financial assistance to their new students. Some schools provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Hartselle AL programs you are reviewing what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Hartselle home, go to the college and monitor a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior designer program you enroll in provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Hartselle AL, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Major Interior Design Hartselle AL
Selecting the right interior design college is a crucial first step toward launching your career in this artistic and rewarding occupation. Locating a college where you will obtain your training and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a challenging job no matter what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to receive an advanced education, there are a number of things to think about before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Major Interior Design and wanted more info on the topic Interior Design Classes Near Me. However it is still imperative that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Hartselle AL.
Other Alabama Designer Locations
Hartselle is the second largest city in Morgan County, Alabama, United States, about 10 miles (16 km) south of Decatur, and is included in the Decatur Metropolitan Area, and the Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area.
As of the 2010 U.S. Census, the population of the city was 14,255. Hartselle was founded in 1870 with the arrival of the South and North Alabama Railroad. It takes its name from George Hartsell, one of the railroad's owners. The post office opened in 1873. It was formally incorporated on March 1, 1875. Most of the oldest buildings were destroyed by a disastrous fire in 1916.
Hartselle is located at 34°26′25″N 86°56′25″W / 34.44028°N 86.94028°W / 34.44028; -86.94028Coordinates: 34°26′25″N 86°56′25″W / 34.44028°N 86.94028°W / 34.44028; -86.94028 (34.440383, -86.940385).
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