How to Select the Right Interior Designer School Clayton 36016
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer school near Clayton AL, it’s time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial interiors, it’s imperative that you receive the appropriate training to put your skills to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it’s vital that you perform the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each college that you are looking at before you make your ultimate decision. But just where do you begin? Many future students will kick off their research by searching for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are relevant factors when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into consideration also. We will address those issues and other vital 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 class options are offered.
Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Many people mistake interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The primary distinction between the two is the level of education required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. However, doing business as an interior designer requires formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or living areas attractive as well as functional. On many projects they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Clayton AL may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any room of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When working on public or commercial areas, designers frequently focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the primary concern.
There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, for example color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Clayton AL interior designers implement a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
Interior Design Degree Programs
There are four degree options available in interior design to obtain the training required to start your new career in Clayton AL. Your selection will no doubt be influenced by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in several states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum amount of training needed to enter the field. They take about two years to finish and programs are available at a number of Alabama trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can usually obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that furnish more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical components of the business required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced training in design after attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide choices in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mainly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work as a professional and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, many states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be called for before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Degree Programs
For anyone wishing’ to attend classes in the comfort of their Clayton AL homes, there are accredited online interior design degrees. Studying online can be a great solution for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For a number of students online schools may be the sole alternative if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Added expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated also. Just be sure that the college you select is accredited by a respected accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the discipline to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the ideal alternative for you.
What to Ask Interior Design Colleges
Once you have selected the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of analyzing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the college must be within commuting distance from your Clayton AL home. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will limit your options also. But selecting the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to home are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other things that you should consider as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a few questions that you may want to address with the programs you are considering to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and subsequently choose the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It’s imperative to make sure that the interior designer school and program that you choose has been accredited by either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding assessment of their instructors and programs. Just make sure that both the college and the degree program 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 may also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Clayton AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the College Ready 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 school. And in several of those States calling for licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. Therefore besides providing an excellent education, the Clayton AL program you choose should also furnish the proper training to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will probably want some help in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It might also signify that the college has a large network of Clayton AL business connections where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial aid departments for the Clayton AL colleges you are reviewing and find out what type of assistance they offer. Many of interior design colleges offer financial aid to their new students. Some schools offer partial scholarships while others provide support in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Clayton AL programs you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Clayton home, visit the school and monitor a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak 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 Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior designer college you enroll in provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Clayton AL, make certain 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 due to work, family or illness.
Enrolling in an Interior Design School near Clayton AL?
Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the Clayton Alabama area. If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.
Clayton has been the county seat since 1834, two years after the creation of Barbour County. Clayton is located geographically in the center of the county. The town was located at the headwaters of the Pea and Choctawhatchee rivers on the historic road from Hobdy's Bridge over the Pea River to Eufaula on the Chattahoochee River. By 1818, there were a few settlers in the area around Clayton, but settlement began in earnest around 1823. The town was named for Augustine S. Clayton, a Georgia jurist and congressman. Clayton became the county seat of Barbour County in 1833 and was laid out on a central courthouse square plan. The first Circuit Court was held in Clayton on September 23, 1833. The Clayton post office was established in September 1835 with John F. Keener as postmaster. Clayton, with a population of 200, was incorporated on December 21, 1841, by the Alabama Legislature. Its first mayor, after incorporation, was John Jackson.
Clayton has a rich heritage with four properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Clayton is also known for its Whiskey Bottle Tombstone, which was featured in Ripley's Believe It or Not!.
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Clayton has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps. 
Find the Ideal Interior Design School near Clayton AL
Picking the ideal interior designer school is a crucial first step toward starting your career in this creative and fulfilling profession. Finding a college where you will obtain your training and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a challenging task regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any undertaking to receive a higher education, there are several points to think about before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design college are both accredited and highly esteemed in the business. You originally came upon this website because you had an initial interest in Interior Design Trade Schools. However it is still imperative that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the right final selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Clayton AL.
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