How to Choose the Best Interior Designer Degree Program near Childersburg Alabama
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer college near Childersburg 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 interiors, it’s essential that you get the right training to put your talents to work. And since some states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation 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 prior to making your ultimate selection. But just where do you start? Many future students will launch their research by looking for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are relevant issues when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into account as well. We will discuss those issues and other important questions that you should be asking 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 options are available.
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Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design
Many people confuse interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The primary distinction between the two is the level of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, 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 living spaces functional as well as attractive. On some projects they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Childersburg AL may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers frequently focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over looks as the main consideration.
There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui concepts, Childersburg AL interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
Interior Designer Degree Options
There are four degree options offered in interior design to obtain the training required to start your new career in Childersburg AL. Your selection will undoubtedly be influenced 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, be sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in several states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum level of training needed to enter the field. They take about 2 years to complete and programs are offered at a number of Alabama trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that provide more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative facets of the business needed to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs provide advanced training in design after acquiring the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide choices in specialty majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mainly 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 3 to 5 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 some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required before a candidate can take the licensing examination.
Interior Designer Online Schools
For anyone wishing’ to attend classes in the comfort of their Childersburg AL homes, there are accredited online interior design schools. Attending classes online can be a good alternative for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For a number of students online colleges may be the only option if no interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Added expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the school 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 education. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the perfect alternative for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
When you have selected the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the campus must be within driving distance from your Childersburg AL residence. Of course 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 cost of tuition will decrease your options as well. But selecting the least expensive 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 look at as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a few questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are considering to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and ultimately choose the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It’s important to make sure that the interior design college and program that you select has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding evaluation of their programs and instructors. 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 training are exceptional, it might also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Childersburg AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some 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 college. And in several of those States requiring licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required also. Therefore aside from furnishing an exceptional education, the Childersburg AL program you enroll in should also furnish the proper education to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It could also indicate that the school has a large network of Childersburg AL business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Childersburg AL schools you are evaluating and ask what kind of aid they offer. Many of interior design programs offer financial aid to their new students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide support in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Childersburg AL schools you are considering what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Childersburg home, go to the college and sit in on a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior designer college you choose provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Childersburg AL, make certain that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option also. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Interior Design Major Childersburg AL
Selecting the ideal interior design college is an important initial step toward starting your career in this creative and fulfilling profession. Searching for a college where you will obtain your training and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a daunting job regardless of what field you have selected. As with any undertaking to receive an advanced education, there are several factors to think about before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, check that the design college and program are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Interior Design Major and wanted more info on the topic Classes For Interior Design. But it is still essential that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design programs so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Childersburg AL.
Other Alabama Designer Locations
Childersburg is a city in Talladega County in the U.S. state of Alabama. It was incorporated in 1889. At the 2010 census the population was 5,175. It claims a history dating back before 1540, when it was noted as a village of the Coosa Nation visited by the Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto. The Alabama Army Ammunition Plant, important during World War II, was located 4 miles (6 km) north of Childersburg.
The city is located along the Coosa River in western Talladega County along US Routes 280 and 231. US 280 and 231 run northwest to southeast through the city, leading northwest 7 mi (11 km) to Harpersville and 37 mi (60 km) to Birmingham. The highway runs southeast 11 mi (18 km) to Sylacauga. Alabama Route 76 also runs through the city, leading east 10 mi (16 km) to Winterboro and southwest 7 mi (11 km) to Alabama Route 25 near Wilsonville.
Successive indigenous peoples had lived in the area for thousands of years. In the 16th century, people identified as part of the Kymulga-phase culture (of the larger Mississippian culture) lived at Talisi, the former site of Childersburg. In the fall of 1540, the Spanish Hernando de Soto expedition rested here for about one month during its exploration of the Southeast. Childersburg calls itself "The Oldest City in America". The Abihka people (part of those who became known as the Muskogee or Creek) dominated the area by the 18th century.
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