How to Select the Right Interior Designer Program near Autaugaville Alabama
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer school near Autaugaville AL, it’s time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial spaces, it’s important that you receive the right 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 exam as well. So it’s very important that you perform the proper research so that you can analyze and compare each college that you are considering prior to making your ultimate choice. But just where do you begin? A number of potential students will kick off their research by searching for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are relevant variables when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into consideration also. We will address those issues and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But first, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training choices are available.
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Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Often people mistake interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The key difference between the two is the level of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. However, working as an interior designer requires a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or living areas attractive as well as functional. On some occasions they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Autaugaville AL can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers frequently focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.
There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui principles, Autaugaville AL interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
Interior Design Training Programs
There are four degree options offered in interior design to acquire the training needed to begin your new profession in Autaugaville AL. Your decision will undoubtedly be influenced by your career objectives as well as the money and time that you have to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in a number of states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum amount of education required to enter the field. They take approximately 2 years to complete and programs are offered at a number of Alabama community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can normally obtain 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 deal with the technical and creative facets of the business required to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced design training after achieving the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer choices in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are largely for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are usually completed in three to five years.
In order to work as a professional and use the title of “Interior Designer”, many states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be needed before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Degree Programs
For students who to attend classes in the comfort of their Autaugaville AL homes, there are accredited online interior design schools. Studying online can be a good solution for those students that are employed 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 practical for the student. For a number of students online programs may be the sole option if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Additional expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated also. Just make sure that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the right option for you.
What to Ask Interior Design Schools
Once you have chosen the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of assessing your school options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the college must be within commuting distance from your Autaugaville AL home. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will limit your options also. But selecting the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you need to consider as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a list of questions that you may want to address with the schools you are looking at to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and ultimately select the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It’s necessary to verify that the interior designer program and school that you select has been accredited by 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). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding evaluation of their programs and teachers. Just confirm 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 education are excellent, it might also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Autaugaville AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several 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 occupational experience may be required as well. So besides providing an exceptional education, the Autaugaville AL program you select should also furnish the proper training to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy 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 no doubt need some support in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its students are sought after. It might also indicate that the school has a sizable network of Autaugaville AL business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Autaugaville AL schools you are evaluating and find out what type of support they offer. A number of interior design programs provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Various schools offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in acquiring grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Autaugaville AL colleges you are considering what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Autaugaville home, visit the school and monitor a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior designer program you enroll in provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Autaugaville AL, confirm that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
What Degree Is Needed For Interior Design Autaugaville AL
Picking the ideal interior designer school is an important first step toward launching your career in this artistic and gratifying occupation. Finding a college where you will receive your education and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a difficult job regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to attain an advanced education, there are many factors to think about before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in What Degree Is Needed For Interior Design and wanted more info on the topic Online Interior Design Classes. However it is still imperative that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design programs so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with quality training and your determination to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Autaugaville AL.
Other Alabama Designer Locations
The town is located in the central part of the state along Alabama State Route 14, which runs west to east through the center of town, leading east 14 mi (23 km) to Prattville, the Autauga County seat, and west 24 mi (39 km) to Selma.
William Thompson, the first settler in what is now Autaugaville arrived around 1820 and built a gristmill and sawmill on Swift Creek, about three miles upriver from the Alabama River. One source says that the town incorporated in 1839, but another cites 1907. A cotton mill opened in 1849 on the banks of Swift Creek, and following upon the model of industrialist Daniel Pratt, the owner constructed housing for its employees, expanding the town. It grew further when many citizens from nearby Vernon relocated here to escape the floods and diseases to which that town was prone. By 1851, the town had a population of 351 and claimed four stores, two churches, and two schools.
Additional businesses opened during this period, including a cloth factory, a buggy and wagon factory, and a gristmill, making it a thriving manufacturing center. The downtown area was seriously damaged by a fire in 1853, but quickly rebuilt. The town's first and only newspaper, the Autauga Citizen, also began publication in 1853, existing until 1873.
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