How to Select the Right Interior Designer Course Prattville 36066
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Prattville AL, it’s time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial spaces, it’s imperative that you obtain the appropriate training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it’s crucial that you do the proper research in order to evaluate and compare each college that you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection. But just where do you begin? Many potential students will start their research by searching for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are relevant variables when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation should be considered as well. We will address those issues and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training options are offered.
Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The key difference between them is the level of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, conducting business as an interior designer requires formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make living or work areas attractive as well as functional. On various occasions they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Prattville AL can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently 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 particular room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers frequently concentrate primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.
There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, including color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui concepts, Prattville AL interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that help bring about their final designs.
Interior Design Degrees
There are four degree options available in interior design to acquire the training needed to launch your new career in Prattville AL. Your choice will no doubt be influenced by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in a number of states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum amount of education needed to enter the field. 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 jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that provide more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative facets of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced training in design after achieving a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer options in specialized majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mostly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are usually completed in three to five years.
In order to work as a professional and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, many states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be needed before an applicant can take the licensing examination.
Online Interior Design Classes
For those who wish to study in the convenience of their Prattville AL homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Studying online can be a good option for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For a number of students online schools may be the only option if no interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Added costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the program you select 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 distance or online learning. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the perfect alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Design Schools
After you have chosen the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of assessing your college options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the campus must be within driving distance from your Prattville AL residence. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will decrease your choices as well. But selecting the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you need to consider as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Following are a list of questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are looking at to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and ultimately choose the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It’s necessary to verify that the interior design college and program that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding evaluation of their programs and teachers. Just confirm that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are exceptional, it may also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Prattville AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do mandate 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 program. And in some of those States mandating licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required also. So besides providing an outstanding education, the Prattville AL school you select should also provide the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will no doubt need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication 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 sizable network of Prattville AL business connections where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Prattville AL colleges you are looking at and find out what type of support they offer. Many of interior designer programs provide financial assistance to their new students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships while others provide support in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Prattville AL schools you are reviewing what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Prattville home, go to the campus and sit in on a couple of classes. While there speak with some 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, confirm that the interior designer school you enroll in provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Prattville AL, confirm that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option also. 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 Prattville AL?
Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the Prattville Alabama area. If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.
Prattville is a city in Autauga and Elmore counties in the State of Alabama. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city is 33,960. Nicknamed "The Fountain City" due to the many artesian wells in the area, Prattville is part of the Montgomery metropolitan statistical area and serves as the county seat of Autauga County.
Prattville was founded in 1839 by industrialist and architect Daniel Pratt. The area was largely inhabited by Native Americans and a few settlers when Pratt, a native of Temple, New Hampshire, first observed the Autauga Creek in the 1830s. He purchased approximately 1,000 acres (4.0 km2) from Joseph May at $21.00 an acre, and set out to build his manufacturing facilities and the town along the banks of Autauga Creek. The location was chosen because the creek could supply power to the cotton gin manufacturing equipment. The town became an industrial center and rapidly grew. In 1868, it was named the county seat for Autauga County.
On February 17, 2008, Prattville was hit by an F3 tornado which destroyed more than 45 homes and businesses and damaged over 700. Twenty-nine people were injured with no fatalities. Preliminary estimates put the damage at $85 million in insured and uninsured damages.
Select the Right Interior Design School near Prattville AL
Picking the right interior designer college is an important initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and rewarding profession. Locating a school where you will obtain your education and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult task no matter what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to receive an advanced education, there are several points to consider before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, confirm that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the profession. You originally came upon this website because you had an initial interest in Interior Design Courses Near Me. However it is still important that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Prattville AL.
More Designer Locations in Alabama
Business Results 1 - 10 of 3