How to Select the Right Interior Designer College near Arley Alabama
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer college near Arley AL, it’s time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial spaces, it’s important that you obtain the proper training to put your skills to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s very important that you carry out the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each school that you are considering prior to making your ultimate choice. But where do you start? A number of future students will begin their research by looking for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are relevant variables when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into account also. We will discuss those issues and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But before we do, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training options are offered.
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Interior Decoration and Interior Design
Some people confuse interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The principal difference between them is the amount of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. However, doing business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or residential areas attractive as well as functional. On many occasions they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Arley AL can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any room of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public areas, designers frequently focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may focus more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.
There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, including lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. 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 integrating Feng shui concepts, Arley AL interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
Interior Design Degree Programs
There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to acquire the training required to launch your new profession in Arley AL. Your decision will undoubtedly be driven by your career objectives in addition to the money and time that you have to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in a number of states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum level of education needed to enter the field. They take about two years to complete and programs are available at a number of Alabama trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can typically obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative aspects of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level position 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 residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are primarily for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are typically completed in three to five years.
In order to work professionally and use the title of “Interior Designer”, many states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required before an applicant can take the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Degree Programs
For students who to attend classes in the comfort of their Arley AL homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Studying online can be an excellent solution for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when convenient 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 conventional options. Additional expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the dedication to obtain your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the perfect option for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Designer Programs
After you have decided on the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of evaluating your school options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the school must be within commuting distance from your Arley AL residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will decrease your choices as well. But picking the cheapest college or the one that is closest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you need to look at as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and ultimately pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It’s important to make sure that the interior designer program and college that you choose has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. 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 undergone a rigorous 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 recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are excellent, it might also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Arley AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would require 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 work experience may be required as well. So besides furnishing an excellent education, the Arley AL school you select should also provide the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will probably need some support in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its students are sought after. It may also indicate that the school has a sizable network of Arley AL business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Arley AL colleges you are looking at and find out what kind of support they offer. A number of interior design colleges offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Arley AL schools you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Arley home, go to the college and monitor a couple of classes. While there speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior design school you select offers 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 in the evening or on weekends near Arley AL, confirm that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.
Top Ranked Interior Design Programs Arley AL
Choosing the right interior design college is an important first step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding occupation. Searching for a college where you will receive your training and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult task no matter what field you have selected. As with any undertaking to attain an advanced education, there are many things to consider before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the business. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Top Ranked Interior Design Programs and wanted more info on the topic Interior Design Associate Degree. But it is still essential that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Arley AL.
Other Alabama Designer Locations
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Arley has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps. 
Arley first appeared on the 1920 U.S. Census as the 5th precinct of Winston County (formerly named Dismal). The population was as follows: 1920-1,030; 1930-1,126; 1940-1,524; 1950-1,286. In 1960, the precinct was merged as part of a larger reorganization of counties into the census division of Addison. The present town of Arley was incorporated in 1965 and first appeared as a separate community (not a precinct) on the 1970 census.
As of the census of 2000, there were 290 people, 123 households, and 89 families residing in the town. The population density was 103.6 people per square mile (40.0/km2). There were 139 housing units at an average density of 49.7 per square mile (19.2/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 99.31% White, and 0.69% from two or more races. 1.38% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
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