How to Select the Right Interior Design Program Centreville 35042
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer school near Centreville AL, it’s time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it’s imperative that you obtain the right training to put your talents to work. And since several states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it’s essential that you do the appropriate research in order to evaluate and compare each college that you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate choice. But where do you begin? Many prospective students will start their research by looking for interior design courses near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are relevant factors when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation need to be considered as well. We will cover those topics and other important questions that you should be asking 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 training alternatives are available.
Interior Decoration vs Interior Design
Many people mistake interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The primary difference between them is the amount of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make living or work spaces functional as well as attractive. On some occasions they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad areas that an interior designer in Centreville AL can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers often focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary concern.
There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. They have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui principles, Centreville AL interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that help bring about their final creations.
Interior Design Degree Options
There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to acquire the training necessary to start your new profession in Centreville AL. Your selection will undoubtedly be motivated by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose 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) exam mandated in a number of states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum amount of education needed to enter the field. They take about two years to complete and programs are offered at numerous Alabama trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can typically qualify for 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 creative and technical components of the business needed to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs supply advanced design training after acquiring a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer choices in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are primarily for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are usually completed in three to five years.
In order to work as a professional and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required before a candidate can take the licensing exam.
Online Interior Design Colleges
For individuals who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Centreville AL homes, there are online accredited interior design colleges. Studying online can be an excellent option for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For some students online programs may be the sole alternative if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the program you enroll in is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also receive 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 structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Designer Programs
After you have chosen the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of evaluating your school options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the campus must be within commuting distance from your Centreville AL residence. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will limit your options also. But selecting the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you need to look at as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Below are a list of questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are considering to get those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and subsequently choose the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It’s important to make sure that the interior designer program and college that you enroll in has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment of their instructors and programs. Just make sure 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 establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it might also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Centreville AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs 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) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore besides furnishing an outstanding education, the Centreville AL program you select should also provide the proper training to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some support in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It could also indicate that the college has a large network of Centreville AL business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Centreville AL schools you are reviewing and find out what kind of aid they provide. A number of interior designer schools offer financial assistance to their new students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Centreville AL programs you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Centreville home, go to the campus and sit in on a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few 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 Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior design program you choose offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Centreville AL, make sure that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option also. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in an Interior Design School near Centreville AL?
Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the Centreville Alabama area. If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Centreville has a total area of 9.6 square miles (24.9 km2), of which 9.5 square miles (24.5 km2) are land and 0.15 square miles (0.4 km2), or 1.52%, is water.
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Centreville has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps. 
Centreville is the site of the highest recorded temperature in the state of Alabama. On September 6, 1925, the temperature in Centreville reached the state record of 112 ºF. The data below are for the years 1916 to 1974.
Select the Ideal Interior Design School near Centreville AL
Picking the ideal interior designer college is a critical initial step toward launching your career in this creative and rewarding occupation. Searching for a college where you will receive your education and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a daunting task regardless of what field you have decided on. As with any undertaking to acquire a higher education, there are several things to consider before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. You originally came upon this website because you had an initial interest in Colleges That Offer Interior Design. But it is still essential that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design programs so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Centreville AL.
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