How to Pick the Right Interior Designer School Piedmont 36272
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer college near Piedmont 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 interiors, it’s essential that you get the right training to put your talents to work. And since some states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s crucial that you carry out the proper research so that you can analyze and compare each college that you are looking at before you make your final decision. But where do you begin? Some potential students will kick off their research by looking for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are key variables when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into account as well. We will address those topics and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are reviewing 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.
Interior Decoration and Interior Design
Some people confuse interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The principal difference between the two is the amount of training required. Anyone can do business 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 formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or living spaces functional as well as attractive. On various occasions they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Piedmont AL can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers normally concentrate predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.
There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, such as color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui principles, Piedmont AL interior designers employ a wide range of skills that help bring about their final creations.
Interior Design Degree Programs
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to receive the training needed to launch your new career in Piedmont AL. Your choice will undoubtedly be driven by your career objectives as well as the money and time that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in some states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum amount of training required to enter the profession. They take about two years to finish and programs are available at a number of Alabama vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can usually obtain 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 technical and creative aspects of the business needed to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs supply advanced training in design after attaining a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide choices 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 mainly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ 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”, a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.
Interior Designer Online Colleges
For those who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Piedmont AL homes, there are online accredited interior design programs. Studying online can be a good alternative for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For many students online programs may be the only option if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Additional costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated also. Just be sure 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 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 setting, then an online interior design program may be the perfect alternative for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Design Programs
After you have decided on the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of reviewing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the school must be within driving distance from your Piedmont AL home. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will decrease your options also. But picking the most affordable college or the one that is closest to home are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you need to look at as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a few questions that you may want to ask the programs you are considering to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and ultimately pick the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It’s necessary to verify that the interior design program and college that you select has earned accreditation from 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 undergone a demanding assessment of their teachers 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 agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are excellent, it might also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Piedmont AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States requiring licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required also. So aside from providing an outstanding education, the Piedmont AL program you enroll in should also furnish the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some support in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It may also indicate that the college has a large network of Piedmont AL business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Piedmont AL colleges you are evaluating and ask what type of support they offer. Many of interior design programs offer financial aid to their incoming students. Some schools offer partial scholarships while others provide assistance in securing federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Piedmont AL schools you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Piedmont home, go to the campus and sit in on a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior design college you select offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Piedmont AL, verify that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an option as well. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Enrolling in an Interior Design School near Piedmont AL?
Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the Piedmont Alabama area. If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.
Piedmont is a city in Calhoun and Cherokee counties in the U.S. state of Alabama. The population was 4,878 at the 2010 census. It is included in the Anniston-Oxford, Alabama Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city is approximately one hour and fifteen minutes West of Atlanta, one and a half hours North East of Birmingham, twenty minutes North of Anniston, Alabama and twenty five minutes east of Gadsden, Alabama. The campus of Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, Alabama is approximately ten miles South of Piedmont. The city is nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountain chain and is surrounded by mountains on the city's southern and eastern sides. The area is home to Duggar Mountain, which is Alabama's second highest point, only trailing Mt. Cheaha by a small margin. Piedmont is a popular tourist destination for outdoor enthusiasts due to its close proximity to many nearby hiking trails, streams and rivers, mountains, the Duggar Mountain Wilderness, the Talladega National Forret and Coleman Lake. Weiss Lake is fourteen miles North of Piedmont and is known as "The Crappie Capital of the World." Piedmont is home to Terrapin Creek, which is a popular destination for kayaking, canoing, camping, swimming and fishing. Piedmont is also home to the Chief Ladiga Trail, which is a paved trail utilized for walking, jogging and bicycling. The trail runs through downtown Piedmont and runs all the way to Atlanta to the East and to Anniston, Alabama to the South and West. The city's school system is an award winning and nationally recognised education system. The school system has state of the art facilities, including artificial turf on the football field and an indoor practice facility for the football team, which is also utilized as a community storm shelter. The school systems sports teams have won state championships in football, track and field and wrestling and have won numerous area/region championships in men/women's basketball, baseball, softball and men's golf. Two state highways, AL-9 and AL-21 run through the city limits of Piedmont, as well as US Highway 278. Many surrounding communities are served by the 36272 ZIP code, including Spring Garden, Rock Run, Knighten's Crossroads, and Nance's Creek. The current mayor is Bill Baker, who was chosen by the city council to lead after elected mayor Rick Freeman resigned due to medical issues.
The area now known as Piedmont is a community that began in the early 1840s, located at the crossroads of two early post roads. Major Jacob Forney Dailey of North Carolina came to Alabama in 1848 and bought land in present-day Piedmont. Major Dailey named the area Cross Plains, and an official post office with that name was established on September 22, 1851.
In Reconstruction-era Alabama, an incident at Cross Plains affected race relations and the future of the northeast section of the state for generations as a result of the lynching of William Luke, a northern missionary, and several other men in 1870. In that year, the new northern-owned railroad to connect Washington, D.C. and the North with New Orleans was to have its headquarters near the small northeast Alabama town, at Patona. After the Ku Klux Klan-led lynchings, however, the headquarters was moved, and the town never achieved the dominant position in Calhoun County, with Anniston, founded the next year, achieving that status instead.
Choose the Right Interior Design School near Piedmont AL
Selecting the right interior designer school is a critical first step toward launching your career in this artistic and gratifying profession. Searching for a college where you will receive your training and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting job no matter what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to attain a higher education, there are a number of factors to think about before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, check that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. You originally came upon this website because you had an initial interest in Interior Design Certificate Programs. But it is still important that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design schools so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Piedmont AL.
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