How to Choose the Right Interior Designer Degree Program near Red Bay Alabama
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design college near Red Bay AL, it’s time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential spaces, it’s essential that you get the right training to put your skills to work. And since some states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it’s essential that you perform the proper research so that you can evaluate and compare each college that you are looking at prior to making your final decision. But exactly where do you begin? Many potential students will begin their research by looking for interior design courses near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are key factors when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation need to be considered as well. We will discuss those issues and other crucial questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But before we do, let’s cover 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
Often people confuse interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The principal distinction between the two is the amount of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, working as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make living or work areas attractive as well as functional. On various projects they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are two broad areas that an interior designer in Red Bay AL may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When working on public or commercial areas, designers often concentrate predominantly 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 banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over looks as the main concern.
There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, for example color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Red Bay AL interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
Interior Designer Training Programs
There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to get the training necessary to launch your new profession in Red Bay AL. Your choice will undoubtedly be influenced by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in some states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum amount of education required to enter the field. They take about two years to complete and programs are offered at a number of Alabama community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can typically obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative facets of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced training in design after acquiring the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer alternatives in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are primarily for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work professionally and use the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required before a candidate can take the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Colleges
For those who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Red Bay AL homes, there are accredited online interior design colleges. Studying online can be a great alternative for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For some students online schools may be the sole option if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Additional expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make sure that the program you select is accredited by a recognized 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 distance or online learning. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the right option for you.
Subjects 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 school options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the campus needs to be within commuting distance from your Red Bay AL home. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will narrow down your choices also. But picking the least expensive college or the one that is closest to home are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other things that you need to consider as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a few questions that you may want to ask the schools you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and subsequently select the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It’s imperative to make sure that the interior design program and college that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a regional or national 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 instructors and programs. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are outstanding, it might also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Red Bay AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do mandate that interior designers become 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 mandating licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to furnishing an outstanding education, the Red Bay AL school you choose should also furnish the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some support in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its students are sought after. It could also signify that the school has a large network of Red Bay AL business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Red Bay AL schools you are evaluating and find out what kind of support they offer. A number of interior designer colleges offer financial aid to their new students. Some schools provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in securing grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Red Bay AL colleges you are considering what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Red Bay home, go to the campus and sit in on a couple of classes. While there talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior designer school you enroll in provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Red Bay AL, make certain that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an option as well. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Schools With Interior Design Majors Red Bay AL
Picking the right interior designer program is a critical first step toward starting your career in this creative and fulfilling occupation. Locating a school where you will receive your training and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a challenging job no matter what major you have decided on. As with any endeavor to acquire an advanced education, there are a number of points to consider before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the business. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Schools With Interior Design Majors and wanted more info on the topic Interior Design Online Degree Accredited. However it is still essential that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design schools so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Red Bay AL.
Other Alabama Designer Locations
Red Bay, Alabama
Red Bay is a city in Franklin County, Alabama, United States. It was founded in 1907. The population was 3,158 at the 2010 census, down from 3,374 at the 2000 census. The town's name likely comes from its location amid a large stand of redbay trees at the time of its founding.
What is now Red Bay was originally known as "Vinson's Crossroads," and was initially located further to the southwest along Gum Creek. A branch of the Illinois Central Railroad was constructed through the area in 1907, and Red Bay developed into an important lumber and shipping center. The city incorporated during this same period.
The first school in Red Bay was located where the First United Methodist Church stands today. In 1903, this school had one faculty member who was responsible for teaching, as well as most of the custodial duties. After crops were harvested, students attended school through the remainder of the fall and winter months until the spring planting season.
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