How to Pick the Right Interior Designer Degree Program near Castleberry Alabama
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer college near Castleberry AL, it’s time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors, it’s important that you obtain the appropriate training to put your skills to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s crucial that you perform the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each college that you are looking at prior to making your final choice. But exactly where do you begin? Some future students will start their research by searching for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are key factors when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation must be taken into consideration as well. We will address those issues and other crucial questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But before we do, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training choices are offered.
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Interior Decoration vs Interior Design
Often people confuse interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The key distinction between them is the level of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, working as an interior designer requires formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make living or work spaces functional as well as attractive. On various projects they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are two broad areas that an interior designer in Castleberry AL may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any room of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public areas, designers normally concentrate predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.
There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, including color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui concepts, Castleberry AL interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
Interior Design Degrees
There are four degree options available in interior design to acquire the training necessary to launch your new profession in Castleberry AL. Your selection will no doubt be motivated 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 decide to enroll in, make certain to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in a number of states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum amount of education required to enter the profession. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are available at a number of Alabama community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that deliver more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative facets of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs provide advanced design training after achieving the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer alternatives in specialized majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to advance 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 degree programs differ in length but are generally completed in three to five years.
In order to work as a professional and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, many states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be required before a candidate can take the licensing exam.
Online Interior Design Schools
For anyone wishing’ to study in the comfort of their Castleberry AL homes, there are online accredited interior design schools. Attending classes online can be an excellent option for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For a number of students online schools may be the only option if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Additional costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated also. Just make certain that the college 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 earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the discipline to obtain your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the perfect alternative for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Design Colleges
Now that you have selected the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of reviewing your college options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the college has to be within driving distance from your Castleberry AL residence. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will narrow down your options also. But picking the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you need to consider as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a few concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are considering to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you assess and subsequently select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It’s important to verify that the interior design college and program that you choose has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. 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 rigorous assessment of their programs and teachers. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are outstanding, it may also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Castleberry AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, 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 as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required also. So aside from providing an outstanding education, the Castleberry AL college you choose should also furnish the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will probably need some support 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 an excellent indication that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It could also indicate that the college has a substantial network of Castleberry AL business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Castleberry AL schools you are looking at and find out what type of aid they offer. Many of interior designer programs provide financial aid to their new students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide assistance in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Castleberry AL colleges you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Castleberry home, visit the college and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior designer school you choose offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Castleberry AL, make certain that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Interior Design Classes Castleberry AL
Choosing the right interior design program is a crucial first step toward launching your career in this creative and fulfilling occupation. Locating a college where you will receive your training and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult job no matter what field you have selected. As with any endeavor to acquire a higher education, there are a number of points to think about before choosing a school, program, or course. At a minimum, confirm that the design college and program are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Interior Design Classes and wanted more info on the topic Best Universities For Interior Design. However it is still important that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the 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 superior training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Castleberry AL.
Other Alabama Designer Locations
Castleberry is a town in Conecuh County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 583. Castleberry is known as the "Strawberry Capital of Alabama" and is home to the annual Castleberry Strawberry Festival. Castleberry is also known for its "speed trap" with the confiscation of property happening on a regular basis. The town has five police officers. A lawsuit against former Police Chief Tracy Hawsey and the town of Castleberry is pending.
As of the census of 2000, there were 590 people, 257 households, and 150 families residing in the town. The population density was 344.0 people per square mile (132.4/km2). There were 331 housing units at an average density of 193.0 per square mile (74.3/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 63.22% White, 35.59% Black or African American, 0.85% Pacific Islander, and 0.34% from two or more races.
There were 257 households out of which 25.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.7% were married couples living together, 16.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.6% were non-families. 37.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 3.05.
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