How to Pick the Best Interior Design Degree Program near Oak Hill Alabama
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer college near Oak Hill AL, it’s time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it’s imperative that you receive the appropriate training to put your skills to work. And since some states do require that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s very important that you do the proper research so that you can assess and compare each program that you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision. But just where do you begin? Some future students will kick off their research by searching for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are key variables when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into account also. We will discuss those topics and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But first, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class choices are available.
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Interior Decoration vs Interior Design
Some people confuse interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The principal distinction between the two is the amount of training required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or living spaces functional as well as attractive. On many projects they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are two broad areas that an interior designer in Oak Hill AL can 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 specific room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers often focus predominantly 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 focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary concern.
There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, including color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They 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 integrating Feng shui principles, Oak Hill AL interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final designs.
Interior Designer Degrees
There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to obtain the training necessary to start your new profession in Oak Hill AL. Your decision will no doubt be influenced by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, be sure to select 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 brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum amount of education needed to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to complete and programs are offered at many Alabama community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that supply more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative components 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 position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced training in design after achieving a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide choices in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are mainly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are generally completed in three to five years.
To work professionally and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, many states require that graduates of accredited degree programs 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 anyone wishing’ to study in the convenience of their Oak Hill AL homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Attending classes online can be a great alternative for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For a number of students online colleges may be the only alternative if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Additional costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated also. Just make certain that the college you select is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs 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 confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the right option for you.
What to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
After you have decided on the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the campus needs to be within driving distance from your Oak Hill AL residence. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will limit your options also. But selecting the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you should consider also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a list of questions that you may want to address with the schools you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others to help you examine and ultimately choose the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It’s important to verify that the interior design college and program that you enroll in has been accredited by either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive assessment of their teachers and programs. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college 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 training are excellent, it might also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Oak Hill AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required also. Therefore besides providing an outstanding education, the Oak Hill AL college you choose should also provide the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with 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 earned your interior designer certification, you will probably need some support in finding your first position. Ask the schools 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 esteem within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It could also signify that the college has a significant network of Oak Hill AL business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Oak Hill AL colleges you are evaluating and find out what type of support they offer. A number of interior design colleges provide financial aid to their new students. Various schools offer partial scholarships while others provide support in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Oak Hill AL colleges you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Oak Hill home, go to the campus and sit in on 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 backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior design program you select provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Oak Hill AL, confirm that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an option as well. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Interior Design Training Oak Hill AL
Choosing the ideal interior designer program is a crucial initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and rewarding profession. Searching for a school where you will obtain your training and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a difficult task regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to receive a higher education, there are several things to think about before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, confirm that the design college and program are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Interior Design Training and wanted more info on the topic Bachelor Of Interior Design. But it is still essential that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Oak Hill AL.
Other Alabama Designer Locations
Oak Hill, Alabama
Oak Hill is a town in Wilcox County, Alabama, United States. According to the 1940 U.S. Census, it incorporated in 1938. The population was 26 at the 2010 census, down from 37 in 2000. It is the second smallest incorporated town in Alabama as of 2010, behind McMullen. However, the smallest unincorporated census-designated place in the state is also located in Wilcox County, that of Catherine, which had 22 residents as of 2010. With a median household income of $9,286 (compared to $44,758 for the state), Oak Hill is the poorest community in Alabama.
As of the census of 2000, there were 37 people, 10 households, and 9 families residing in the town. The population density was 66.0 people per square mile (25.5/km²). There were 19 housing units at an average density of 33.9 per square mile (13.1/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 64.86% Black or African American and 35.14% White.
Out of ten households, 40.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 70.0% were married couples living together, and 10.0% were non-families. No households were made up of individuals and none had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.70 and the average family size was 3.78.