How to Choose the Right Interior Design School Addison 35540
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer college near Addison AL, it’s time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial interiors, it’s important that you get the proper training to put your skills to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it’s crucial that you do the appropriate research so that you can evaluate and compare each school that you are considering before you make your ultimate decision. But exactly where do you start? Some potential students will start their research by searching for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are key issues when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into account as well. We will cover those issues and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But before we do, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training options are offered.
Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration
Many people mistake interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The principal distinction between the two is the amount of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. However, conducting business as an interior designer requires formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught 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 Addison AL may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any room of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers normally focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.
There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, for example lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui principles, Addison AL interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to obtain the training necessary to start your new profession in Addison AL. Your decision will undoubtedly be driven by your career objectives as well as the money and time that you have to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, make certain to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in some states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum level of education required to enter the field. They take about two years to complete and programs are available at many Alabama vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that provide more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical aspects of the business required to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced training in design after acquiring the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide alternatives in specialty majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are primarily for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are generally completed in three to five 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 some instances, two or more years of field experience may be needed before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Designer Online Schools
For those who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their Addison AL homes, there are online accredited interior design degrees. Studying online can be a great alternative for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop 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 cheaper than for more traditional options. Added expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated also. Just make certain that the college you choose is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the dedication to obtain your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the perfect option for you.
What to Ask Interior Designer Programs
After you have selected the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of evaluating your college options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the school needs to be within driving distance from your Addison AL home. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will narrow down your options as well. But choosing the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you should look at as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the program. Below are a list of questions that you may want to ask the schools you are considering to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you assess and ultimately choose the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It’s essential to confirm that the interior designer school and program that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive assessment 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Addison AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States requiring licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from furnishing an exceptional education, the Addison AL college you enroll in should also furnish the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its students are sought after. It may also signify that the school has a significant network of Addison AL business connections where they can place students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Addison AL schools you are evaluating and find out what type of support they offer. Many of interior design programs provide financial aid to their incoming students. Various schools offer partial scholarships while others provide help in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Addison AL schools you are reviewing what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Addison home, visit the campus and monitor a few classes. While there talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their experiences have been 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 active schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Addison AL, verify 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 work, sickness or family obligations.
Enrolling in an Interior Design School near Addison AL?
Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the Addison Alabama area. If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.
As of the 2010 Census Addison had a population of 757. The population was 99.1% white, 0.1% black or African American, 0.1% Asian, 0.7% from two or more races and 0.4% Hispanic or Latino of any race.
As of the census of 2000, there were 723 people, 315 households, and 219 families residing in the town. The population density was 205.7 people per square mile (79.5/km²). There were 339 housing units at an average density of 96.5 per square mile (37.3/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 99.45% White, 0.14% Black or African American, 0.14% Native American, 0.14% Asian, and 0.14% from two or more races. 0.14% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 315 households out of which 30.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.0% were married couples living together, 12.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.2% were non-families. 28.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.78.
Find the Best Interior Design School near Addison AL
Selecting the ideal interior design college is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this creative and gratifying occupation. Finding a college where you will receive your training and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a difficult task regardless of what field you have selected. As with any endeavor to receive an advanced education, there are several factors to think about before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, make sure 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 initial interest in Online Interior Design Degrees. But it is still imperative that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Addison AL.
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