How to Pick the Right Interior Designer School near Centreville Alabama
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer school near Centreville AL, it’s time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it’s essential that you receive the proper training to put your talents 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 as well. So it’s essential that you do the proper research in order to evaluate and compare each college that you are looking at before you make your final decision. But exactly where do you begin? Many future students will launch their research by searching for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are important factors when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to be considered also. We will cover those issues and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class choices are available.
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Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration
Some people confuse interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The main distinction between them is the level of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, conducting 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 living or work spaces functional as well as attractive. On various occasions they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Centreville AL may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any area of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with public or commercial areas, designers normally concentrate predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may focus more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.
There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, including color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui concepts, Centreville AL interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
Interior Designer Degree Options
There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to receive the training required to begin your new profession in Centreville AL. Your decision will no doubt be influenced by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in a number of 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 furnish the minimum level of education needed to enter the field. They take approximately 2 years to finish and programs are offered at many Alabama vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can typically obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that supply more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical facets of the business required to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs provide advanced design training after acquiring the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer options in specialty majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are primarily for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary 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 mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be needed before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Schools
For those who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their Centreville AL homes, there are online accredited interior design programs. Studying online can be an excellent option for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For some students online colleges may be the only alternative if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an added 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 sure that the college you enroll in is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the dedication to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the perfect alternative for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
After you have selected the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of reviewing your college options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the campus needs to be within driving distance from your Centreville AL residence. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But picking the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you should consider as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Following are a list of questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are considering to get those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and ultimately pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It’s important to make sure that the interior design program and school that you select has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. 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 a rigorous evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just verify that both the degree program and the college 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 training are excellent, it might also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Centreville AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do mandate that interior designers get 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 school. And in some of those States mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required also. So in addition to providing an excellent education, the Centreville AL school you enroll in should also provide the proper education to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will probably need some help in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It might also indicate that the college has a large network of Centreville AL business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial aid offices for the Centreville AL colleges you are looking at and find out what type of aid they offer. A number of interior designer programs provide financial aid to their new students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide help in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Centreville AL schools you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Centreville home, visit the campus and sit in on a few classes. While there talk with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior design college you select provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Centreville AL, make sure that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Interior Design Certification Centreville AL
Selecting the right interior designer school is a crucial initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and rewarding profession. Locating a college where you will receive your education and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a challenging job no matter what field you have chosen. As with any endeavor to attain an advanced education, there are a number of things to consider before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Interior Design Certification and wanted more info on the topic Interior Designer Classes. But it is still important that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design schools so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Centreville AL.
Other Alabama Designer Locations
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Centreville has a total area of 9.6 square miles (24.9 km2), of which 9.5 square miles (24.5 km2) are land and 0.15 square miles (0.4 km2), or 1.52%, is water.
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Centreville has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps. 
Centreville is the site of the highest recorded temperature in the state of Alabama. On September 6, 1925, the temperature in Centreville reached the state record of 112 °F. The data below are for the years 1916 to 1974.
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