How to Select the Right Interior Designer Program Fairfield 35064
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer school near Fairfield AL, it’s time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it’s essential that you get the appropriate training to put your talents to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it’s crucial that you perform the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each program that you are considering prior to making your final decision. But exactly where do you start? Many prospective students will kick off their research by searching for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are important issues when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into consideration also. We will address those issues and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But before we do, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training choices are offered.
Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design
Some people confuse interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The principal distinction between them is the amount of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make living or work areas attractive as well as functional. On various occasions they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Fairfield AL may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers often concentrate predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.
There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, including color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. They need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Fairfield AL interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final creations.
Interior Designer Training Programs
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to acquire the training necessary to start your new career in Fairfield AL. Your decision will undoubtedly be motivated by your career goals in addition to 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 pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in some states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum level of education needed to enter the profession. They take approximately 2 years to finish and programs are available at a number of Alabama community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can typically obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that supply more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical components of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced training in design after achieving the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide options in specialized majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are largely for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are generally completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work as a professional and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, many states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Designer Online Schools
For individuals who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Fairfield AL homes, there are accredited online interior design schools. Studying online can be an excellent solution for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For some students online schools may be the only alternative if no interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the program you choose is accredited by a respected accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the perfect alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Design Programs
Now that you have chosen the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of assessing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the college needs to be within driving distance from your Fairfield AL residence. Naturally if you have decided on attending a school online, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will limit your choices also. But selecting the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to home are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other things that you need to consider as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Following are a few concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are looking at to get those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and ultimately choose the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It’s imperative to verify 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 highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding assessment of their teachers and programs. Just make sure that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are outstanding, it may also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Fairfield AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do require 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 college. And in several of those States calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required also. Therefore in addition to furnishing an outstanding education, the Fairfield AL college you choose should also furnish the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill 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 received your interior designer certification, you will probably need some support in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It might also indicate that the college has a substantial network of Fairfield AL business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Fairfield AL colleges you are reviewing and find out what kind of support they provide. A number of interior design schools provide financial assistance to their new students. Some schools provide partial scholarships while others provide help in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Fairfield AL programs you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Fairfield home, visit the college and attend 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 styles are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior design school you choose provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Fairfield AL, make certain that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Enrolling in an Interior Design School near Fairfield AL?
Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the Fairfield Alabama area. If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.
Fairfield is a city in western Jefferson County, Alabama, United States. It is part of the Birmingham metropolitan area and is located southeast of Pleasant Grove. The population was 11,117 at the 2010 census.
This city was founded in 1910 in which the featured speaker at the dedication ceremony was former President Theodore Roosevelt. It was originally named Corey, after an executive of U.S. Steel Corporation. The name was later changed to the city in which the President of U.S. Steel lived, Fairfield, Connecticut. It was planned as a model city by the Tennessee Coal, Iron and Railroad Company to house workers in their new Fairfield Works plant, now owned by U.S. Steel, similar to its northeastern city of Ensley.
As of the census of 2000, there were 12,381 people, 4,600 households, and 3,141 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,503.8 people per square mile (1,354.2/km²). There were 4,960 housing units at an average density of 1,403.7 per square mile (542.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 8.90% White, 90.23% Black or African American, 0.06% Native American, 0.15% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.17% from other races, and 0.48% from two or more races. 0.59% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Pick the Right Interior Design School near Fairfield AL
Selecting the right interior designer college is an important first step toward launching your career in this artistic and rewarding profession. Searching for a school where you will obtain your training and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a difficult job no matter what major you have chosen. As with any undertaking to acquire a higher education, there are several things to consider before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the field. You originally came upon this website because you had an initial interest in Interior Design Certificate Courses. However it is still essential that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Fairfield AL.
More Designer Locations in Alabama
Business Results 1 - 10 of 11