Schools With Interior Design Leighton AL

How to Select the Right Interior Designer School near Leighton Alabama

Leighton AL residential designed kitchenNow that you have decided to enroll in an interior design college near Leighton AL, it’s time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it’s important that you receive the appropriate training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several 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 very important that you carry out the proper research in order to evaluate and compare each school that you are considering before you make your final selection. But just where do you begin? A number of future students will kick off their research by looking for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are relevant factors when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation need to be considered also. We will cover those topics and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But first, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class alternatives are available.

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Interior Decoration vs Interior Design

Leighton AL commercial designed board roomOften people confuse interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The key distinction between the two is the amount of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. However, conducting business as an interior designer requires 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 work or residential areas functional as well as attractive. On some occasions they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are two broad areas that an interior designer in Leighton AL can specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any room of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public areas, designers often concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.

There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui concepts, Leighton AL interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final designs.

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Interior Design Degrees

Leighton AL interior designed bathroomThere are four degree alternatives available in interior design to get the training needed to start your new career in Leighton AL. Your decision will no doubt be driven by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make certain to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam 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 offered.

  • 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 a number of Alabama vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that supply more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative aspects of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs furnish 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 advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are largely for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary in length but are generally completed in three to five years.

In order to work professionally and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, many states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be called for before an applicant can take the licensing exam.

Online Interior Designer Degree Programs

Leighton AL student attending online Interior Design CourseFor anyone wishing’ to attend classes in the convenience of their Leighton AL homes, there are accredited online interior design programs. Attending classes online can be a good solution for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For many students online colleges may be the only option if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Additional costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the school you enroll in is accredited by a highly regarded 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 learning. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the right option for you.

Questions to Ask Interior Designer Programs

Questions to ask Leighton AL interior design schoolsWhen you have selected the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of assessing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the college must be within driving distance from your Leighton AL home. Obviously if you have decided on attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will decrease your options as well. But choosing the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your house are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you need to look at also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Following are a few concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are considering to get those answers in addition to others to help you assess and ultimately choose the right degree program.

Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It’s imperative to confirm that the interior designer program and school that you choose has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment of their programs and teachers. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are outstanding, it may also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Leighton AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.

Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, 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 college. And in several of those States calling for licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from providing an exceptional education, the Leighton AL college you select should also furnish the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill 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 obtained your interior design certification, you will probably want some help in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It may also indicate that the school has a sizable network of Leighton AL business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial aid departments for the Leighton AL schools you are evaluating and find out what type of support they offer. Many of interior design colleges provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in acquiring federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.

How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Leighton AL schools you are considering what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Leighton home, visit the school and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior designer college you enroll in offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Leighton AL, verify that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.

Schools With Interior Design Leighton AL

beautifully designed Leighton AL homeSelecting the ideal interior designer school is a crucial first step toward starting your career in this creative and gratifying profession. Searching for a college where you will receive your education and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a challenging job regardless of what major you have selected. As with any endeavor to receive a higher education, there are many points to consider before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, make sure that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the field. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Schools With Interior Design and wanted more info on the topic How To Become A Interior Designer. But it is still essential that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Leighton AL.

Other Alabama Designer Locations

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    Leighton, Alabama

    Leighton is a town in Colbert County, Alabama, United States. It is part of the Florence - Muscle Shoals Metropolitan Statistical Area known as "The Shoals". At the 2010 census the population was 729.[3] Leighton has been hit by several tornadoes in the 2000s, including a damaging EF2 on May 8, 2008, that was caught on tape flipping over many cars and damaging buildings.

    The first settlers in what is now Leighton arrived in the early 1810s. The community was initially known as "Crossroads" for its location at the intersection of two early stage coach roads. The name was later changed to "Leighton" for town's first postmaster, the Reverend William Leigh. The town developed as a cotton shipping center in the 1830s after the Tuscumbia, Courtland and Decatur Railroad constructed a railroad line through the area. Leighton incorporated in 1890.[4]

    Leighton originally straddled the county line of Franklin and Lawrence Counties. When Colbert County was carved off in 1867, the town still remained divided between the new county and Lawrence. On the 1880 U.S. Census, it reported having 196 residents on the Colbert County side and 83 on the Lawrence County side. After the 1890 Census, Colbert County's eastern border was expanded eastward several miles to Town Creek, placing Leighton wholly within Colbert.[5]

     

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