How to Choose the Right Interior Designer School Union Springs 36089
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design degree program near Union Springs AL, it’s time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors, it’s essential that you get the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it’s crucial that you do the proper research so that you can evaluate and compare each school that you are looking at prior to making your ultimate choice. But just where do you start? Many potential students will begin their research by looking for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are important variables when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation need to be considered also. We will cover those issues and other crucial 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 class alternatives are available.
Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design
Some people confuse interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The main distinction between the two is the amount of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make living or work spaces functional as well as attractive. On many projects they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Union Springs AL may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public areas, designers often concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over looks as the main consideration.
There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Union Springs AL interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final designs.
Interior Design Degree Options
There are four degree options available in interior design to obtain the training necessary to begin your new profession in Union Springs AL. Your selection will no doubt be driven by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, make certain to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in several states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum amount of education required to enter the profession. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are available at numerous Alabama trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that provide more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical aspects of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced training in design after attaining a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide alternatives in specialized majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are largely for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are generally completed in three to five years.
To work professionally and use the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be required before an applicant can take the licensing examination.
Online Interior Designer Degree Programs
For individuals who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Union Springs AL homes, there are accredited online interior design schools. Studying online can be an excellent option for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For some students online colleges may be the sole option if no interior design schools are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Additional expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make certain that the program you pick is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Schools
When you have chosen the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of evaluating your school options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the school must be within driving distance from your Union Springs AL residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will limit your options also. But selecting the most affordable school or the one that is closest to home are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other things that you should look at also, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a few questions that you may want to address with the programs you are looking at to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you assess and subsequently pick the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It’s necessary to make sure that the interior design program and school that you select has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. 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 gone through an extensive 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 organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are excellent, it might also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Union Springs AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to providing an outstanding education, the Union Springs AL school you enroll in should also furnish the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some help in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It could also signify that the college has a sizable network of Union Springs AL business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Union Springs AL colleges you are evaluating and find out what kind of aid they provide. Many of interior design colleges provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Union Springs AL programs you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Union Springs home, go to the college and attend 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 Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior design college you choose provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Union Springs AL, verify that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Enrolling in an Interior Design School near Union Springs AL?
Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the Union Springs Alabama area. If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.
Union Springs, Alabama
The area that became Union Springs was first settled by white men after the Creek Indian removal of the 1830s. Twenty-seven springs watered the land, giving rise to the name of Union Springs. The city was incorporated on January 13, 1844. When Bullock County was formed in 1866, voters selected Union Springs as the county seat.
Union Springs is located in southeastern Alabama near the center of Bullock County at 32°8'24.407" North, 85°42'46.094" West (32.140113, -85.712804). The source of the Conecuh River is within the city limits.
The city is located at the intersection of U.S. Route 82 and U.S. Route 29. Route 82 leads east 40 miles (64 km) to Eufaula and northwest 46 miles (74 km) to Montgomery, the state capital. Route 29 leads north 23 miles (37 km) to Tuskegee and southwest 40 miles (64 km) to Troy.
Select the Right Interior Design School near Union Springs AL
Choosing the right interior design school is a crucial first step toward launching your career in this artistic and rewarding profession. Searching for a school where you will receive your education and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult job no matter what field you have decided on. As with any undertaking to receive an advanced education, there are many points to consider before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the field. You originally came upon this website because you had an initial interest in Colleges That Offer Interior Design Majors. But it is still imperative that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design schools so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with quality training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Union Springs AL.
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