How to Choose the Right Interior Designer Program New Market 35761
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design degree program near New Market AL, it’s time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it’s essential that you obtain the right training to put your skills to work. And since several states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it’s very important that you do the appropriate research in order to evaluate and compare each program that you are looking at before you make your final selection. But where do you begin? Many future students will begin their research by searching for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are important factors when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation need to be considered also. We will cover those topics and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class choices are offered.
Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration
Often people confuse interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The key difference between the two is the level of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer requires formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make living or work areas attractive as well as functional. On various projects they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in New Market AL may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any room of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers frequently concentrate primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may focus more on functionality over looks as the main concern.
There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui principles, New Market AL interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that help bring about their final creations.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are four degree options offered in interior design to obtain the training needed to start your new career in New Market AL. Your choice will no doubt be driven by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, make certain to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in several states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum amount of education needed to enter the field. They take about two years to complete and programs are offered at many Alabama trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that provide more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative facets of the business required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs provide advanced training in design after attaining a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer choices in specialized majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are largely for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are generally completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work as a professional 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 required before a candidate can take the licensing examination.
Online Interior Designer Degree Programs
For individuals who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their New Market AL homes, there are accredited online interior design programs. Studying online can be an excellent 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 home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For many students online programs may be the only option if no interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Additional costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make certain that the college you pick is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the discipline to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the ideal alternative for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Schools
Now that you have chosen the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the task of reviewing your college options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the school needs to be within commuting distance from your New Market AL home. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will limit your choices also. But choosing the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you should consider as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a list of questions that you may want to address with the programs you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and ultimately select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It’s essential to make sure that the interior designer program and college that you select has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding evaluation of their programs and teachers. 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 verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are excellent, it might also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many New Market AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States calling for licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required also. So in addition to furnishing an excellent education, the New Market AL program you enroll in should also provide the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some support in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It could also indicate that the school has a sizable network of New Market AL business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the New Market AL colleges you are looking at and ask what kind of support they provide. A number of interior designer schools provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the New Market AL colleges you are reviewing what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your New Market home, visit the college and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior designer college you select offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near New Market AL, confirm that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.
Enrolling in an Interior Design School near New Market AL?
Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the New Market Alabama area. If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.
New Market, Alabama
New Market is a census-designated place (CDP) in Madison County, Alabama, United States, and is included in the Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census, the population of the CDP is 1,597. Although it was the first area settled in Madison County, the town has never been incorporated.
In the early 19th century, several persons from Tennessee explored the area just across the border in what eventually became Madison County in Alabama. Isaac and Joseph Criner also explored the area and, in 1804, settled in the northern part near what is now called Mountain Fork of the Flint River. George Smith, landowner of town site, built first log house and established a mercantile business in 1814. John Miller excavated millrace, erected gristmill and sawmill in 1819. Later settlers gave the name New Market to the community.
Four sites in New Market are listed on the National Register of Historic Places: the New Market Historic District, New Market Presbyterian Church, New Market United Methodist Church, and the Whitman-Cobb House.
Choose the Right Interior Design School near New Market AL
Choosing the ideal interior design program is a crucial initial step toward launching your career in this creative and gratifying profession. Searching for a college where you will receive your education and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting job regardless of what major you have decided on. As with any undertaking to acquire an advanced education, there are many things to think about before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the profession. You originally came upon this website because you had an initial interest in Interior Design Courses Online. But it is still important that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design programs so that you can make the right final selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in New Market AL.
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