How to Find the Right Interior Designer School Atmore 36502
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near Atmore AL, it’s time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential interiors, it’s important that you get the proper training to put your skills to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it’s very important that you perform the appropriate research in order to analyze and compare each college that you are looking at prior to making your final choice. But just where do you begin? Some future students will start their research by searching for interior design courses near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are relevant issues when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation must be considered as well. We will discuss those issues and other crucial questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are interested in 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 confuse interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The principal difference between the two is the level of education required. Anyone 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 necessitates formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make living or work spaces functional as well as attractive. On various projects they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Atmore AL may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial areas, designers often focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas 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 numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, for example lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui principles, Atmore AL interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final designs.
Interior Designer Degrees
There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to obtain the training needed to start your new profession in Atmore AL. Your selection will undoubtedly be influenced by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in some states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum level of education needed to enter the profession. They take about two years to finish and programs are offered at numerous Alabama community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative aspects of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced design training after achieving a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide choices in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are mostly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are usually completed in three to five years.
To work professionally and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, many states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be called for before an applicant can take the licensing examination.
Online Interior Design Schools
For students who to attend classes in the comfort of their Atmore AL homes, there are accredited online interior design degrees. Attending classes online can be an excellent option 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 colleges may be the only option if no interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Additional expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated also. Just be sure that the program you choose is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the dedication to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
When you have selected the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of evaluating your school options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the school has to be within driving distance from your Atmore AL home. Naturally if you are interested in 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 choosing the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your house are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you should look at as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a list of questions that you may want to address with the programs you are looking at to get those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and subsequently select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It’s important to make sure that the interior design program and school that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are outstanding, it might also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Atmore AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required as well. So besides providing an outstanding education, the Atmore AL school you select should also furnish the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some support in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It could also signify that the school has a significant network of Atmore AL business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Atmore AL schools you are reviewing and ask what type of aid they offer. Many of interior design schools provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide support in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Atmore AL colleges you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Atmore home, go to the campus and sit in on a couple of classes. While there talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior designer college you enroll in offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Atmore AL, confirm that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an option as well. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in an Interior Design School near Atmore AL?
Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the Atmore Alabama area. If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.
Atmore is a city in Escambia County, Alabama, United States. It incorporated in 1907. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 10,194, with an estimated population of 10,006 in 2014. Atmore is in the planning stages to increase its economic base with additions in its new Rivercane development along the I-65 corridor.
Atmore has completed requirements to be recognized as an Alabama Community of Excellence at the upcoming Alabama League of Municipalities Convention. City officials are also working with the Alabama Historical Commission to have the downtown district listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Atmore is located in western Escambia County at 31°1′23″N 87°29′31″W / 31.02306°N 87.49194°W / 31.02306; -87.49194 (31.023183, -87.492067). Its southern border is the Florida state line. The center of town is at the intersection of U.S. Route 31 and Alabama State Route 21, while a new section of the city has been incorporated 6 miles (10 km) to the north around Exit 57 of Interstate 65. US 31 leads southwest 20 miles (32 km) to Bay Minette and east 28 miles (45 km) to Brewton. Mobile is 51 miles (82 km) to the southwest via US 31 and I-65, while Pensacola, Florida, is 49 miles (79 km) south via AL 21, Florida State Road 97, and U.S. Route 29.
Enroll in the Right Interior Design School near Atmore AL
Picking the right interior design college is a critical first step toward launching your career in this creative and rewarding occupation. Finding a school where you will receive your education and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a daunting task no matter what field you have decided on. As with any endeavor to acquire an advanced education, there are many factors to think about before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, make sure 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 Interior Design Education. However it is still important that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design programs so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Atmore AL.
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