How to Find the Right Interior Design College Anniston 36201
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Anniston AL, it’s time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial spaces, it’s important that you obtain the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it’s very important that you do the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each program that you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection. But exactly where do you begin? A number of future students will launch their research by searching for interior design courses near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are important issues when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation should be considered as well. We will discuss those issues and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But before we do, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class options are offered.
Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The key distinction between them is the level of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or living areas functional as well as attractive. On many occasions they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Anniston AL may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any area of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public areas, designers normally concentrate primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.
There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, including color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. They must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui concepts, Anniston AL interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
Interior Design Degree Programs
There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to acquire the training required to launch your new profession in Anniston AL. Your choice will undoubtedly be motivated by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in a number of states. More will be addressed 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 supply the minimum amount of education required to enter the field. They take roughly 2 years to finish and programs are offered at a number of Alabama vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that supply more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical facets of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced design training after achieving the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide choices in specialized majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mostly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are typically completed in three to five years.
To work professionally and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.
Online Interior Design Classes
For those who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Anniston AL homes, there are accredited online interior design colleges. Attending classes online can be a great alternative for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For many students online programs may be the sole option if no interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Additional costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the college you pick is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the dedication to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the right alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Designer Programs
Once you have chosen the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the campus has to be within driving distance from your Anniston AL home. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will decrease your options as well. But picking the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to home are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you should consider also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Below are a list of questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and subsequently choose the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It’s important to confirm that the interior designer college and program that you choose has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just confirm 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 confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are excellent, it may also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Anniston AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do mandate that interior designers get 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, 2 or more years of work experience may be required as well. So aside from providing an exceptional education, the Anniston AL program you choose should also provide the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design field and its graduates are in demand. It might also indicate that the school has a substantial network of Anniston AL business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Anniston AL colleges you are reviewing and ask what type of support they offer. Many of interior design schools offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Some schools offer partial scholarships while others provide assistance in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Anniston AL schools you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Anniston home, visit the college and monitor a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior design college you select offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Anniston AL, confirm that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Enrolling in an Interior Design School near Anniston AL?
Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the Anniston Alabama area. If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.
Anniston is the county seat of Calhoun County in Alabama and is one of two urban centers/principal cities of and included in the Anniston-Oxford Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city was 23,106. According to 2013 Census estimates, the city had a population of 22,666.
Though the surrounding area was settled much earlier, the mineral resources in the area of Anniston were not exploited until the Civil War. The Confederate States of America then operated an iron furnace near present-day downtown Anniston, until it was finally destroyed by raiding Union cavalry in early 1865. Later, cast iron for sewer systems became the focus of Anniston's industrial output. Cast iron pipe, also called soil pipe, was popular until the advent of plastic pipe in the 1960s.
In 1872, the Woodstock Iron Company, organized by Samuel Noble and Union Gen. Daniel Tyler, rebuilt the furnace on a much larger scale, and started a planned community named Woodstock, soon renamed "Annie's Town" for Annie Scott Tyler, Daniel's daughter and wife of railroad president Alfred L. Tyler. Anniston was chartered as a town in 1873.
Enroll in the Right Interior Design School near Anniston AL
Selecting the ideal interior design school is a crucial first step toward starting your career in this artistic and rewarding occupation. Searching for a college where you will receive your training and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting task regardless of what field you have chosen. As with any undertaking to acquire a higher education, there are a number of things to think about before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design college are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. You originally came upon this website because you had an initial interest in Interior Design Schools Online. However it is still essential that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design programs so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Anniston AL.
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