How to Pick the Right Interior Designer Program near Thomaston Alabama
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer school near Thomaston AL, it’s time to begin the process of selecting 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 talents to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it’s vital that you carry out the proper research so that you can assess and compare each program that you are reviewing before you make your final decision. But where do you start? Some prospective students will kick off their research by looking for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are relevant variables when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into consideration as well. We will cover those topics and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training choices are offered.
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Interior Decoration and Interior Design
Some people mistake interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The main difference between them is the amount of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or residential areas attractive as well as functional. On various projects they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are two general areas that an interior designer in Thomaston AL can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any area of the home, 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 concentrate predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas 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 commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, including color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui principles, Thomaston AL interior designers implement a wide range of skills that contribute to their final creations.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to get the training necessary to begin your new profession in Thomaston AL. Your decision will undoubtedly be driven by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in several states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum level of education required to enter the field. They take about 2 years to complete and programs are offered at a number of Alabama trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that deliver more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical aspects of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs provide advanced design training after attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide options in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are largely for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work professionally and use the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be called for before an applicant can take the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Degree Programs
For anyone wishing’ to attend classes in the convenience of their Thomaston AL homes, there are accredited online interior design colleges. Studying online can be a good option for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For a number of students online colleges may be the sole option if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Additional costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the school you pick is accredited by a respected accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the ideal alternative for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Design Schools
When you have selected the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the college must be within driving distance from your Thomaston AL residence. Obviously 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 decrease your choices as well. But selecting the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you should consider as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a list of questions that you may want to address with the programs you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and ultimately select the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It’s necessary to verify that the interior design program and college that you enroll in has been accredited by 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). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment of their instructors and programs. Just verify that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are outstanding, it may also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Thomaston AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do require that interior designers get 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 some of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore aside from providing an exceptional education, the Thomaston AL program you enroll in should also provide the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some support in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the college 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 Thomaston AL business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Thomaston AL schools you are looking at and find out what type of assistance they provide. A number of interior design programs offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide help in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classrooms? Small 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 Thomaston AL programs you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Thomaston home, visit the campus and attend a couple of classes. While there speak with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior design school you select provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Thomaston AL, confirm that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Interior Design Schooling Requirements Thomaston AL
Picking the ideal interior designer college is a critical initial step toward launching your career in this creative and gratifying occupation. Locating a school where you will obtain your training and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a difficult task regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to acquire an advanced education, there are a number of things to consider before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the profession. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Interior Design Schooling Requirements and wanted more info on the topic Online Interior Design Diploma. However it is still important that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Thomaston AL.
Other Alabama Designer Locations
Thomaston is a town in Marengo County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 417, up from 383 in 2000. Thomaston is home to the Pepper Jelly Festival which takes place the last Saturday of April and celebrates Thomaston's famous Mama Nem's pepper jelly, as well as, folk artists and other vendors. As Thomaston's water tower reads, "Eat Pepper Jelly".
Thomaston was platted in 1901 when the railroad was extended to that point. Thomaston was named for C. B. Thomas, a town promoter. A post office called Thomaston has been in operation since 1892. It was incorporated on November 15, 1901.
Thomaston has one historic district, the Thomaston Central Historic District, which encompasses the core of the town. Additionally, there are three individually listed properties on the National Register of Historic Places: the Thomaston Colored Institute, C. S. Golden House, and Patrick Farrish House. The town is home to the Alabama Rural Heritage Center, and the Thomaston Community Market, both community projects of Auburn University's Rural Studio.. Thomaston is also home to the Alabama Whitetail Records Museum.
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