How to Enroll in the Best Interior Designer College near Clanton Alabama
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer college near Clanton AL, it’s time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential interiors, it’s essential that you obtain the appropriate training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it’s essential that you carry out the proper research in order to assess and compare each college that you are looking at prior to making your ultimate choice. But exactly where do you begin? Many potential students will begin their research by looking for interior design courses near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are key factors when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into consideration also. We will cover those topics and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But first, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are offered.
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Interior Decoration vs Interior Design
Many people confuse interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The main difference between the two is the level of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates 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 living or work areas attractive as well as functional. On various projects they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Clanton AL may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any area of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers often concentrate primarily 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 focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the main consideration.
There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, such as lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. They have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui principles, Clanton AL interior designers employ a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
Interior Design Degree Programs
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to acquire the training necessary to begin your new career in Clanton AL. Your decision will undoubtedly be driven by your career objectives as well as the money and time that you have to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, make certain to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in some states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum level of education required to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to finish and programs are offered at many Alabama trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can normally obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that supply more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative facets of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential 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 design training after achieving the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide choices in specialty majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are primarily for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work as a professional and use the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be needed before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Designer Online Degree Programs
For those who wish to study in the convenience of their Clanton AL homes, there are accredited online interior design degrees. Attending classes online can be a great solution for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For a number of students online colleges may be the only alternative if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Added costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the program you pick is accredited by a respected accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the discipline to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Design Programs
When you have chosen the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of evaluating your college options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the college has to be within driving distance from your Clanton AL home. Naturally if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will decrease your choices as well. But choosing the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to home are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you should consider as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a few questions that you may want to address with the programs you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others to help you assess and subsequently select the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It’s important to confirm that the interior design school and program that you choose 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 gone through an extensive evaluation of their programs and teachers. Just verify 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 establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are exceptional, it may also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Clanton AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the School Prep 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 in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States calling for licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to furnishing an outstanding education, the Clanton AL program you select should also provide the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will no doubt need some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It may also signify that the school has a sizable network of Clanton AL business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Clanton AL colleges you are evaluating and ask what kind of support they offer. Many of interior design schools provide financial assistance to their new students. Certain schools offer partial scholarships and others provide help in securing grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer 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 little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Clanton AL schools you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Clanton home, visit the campus and attend a few classes. While there speak with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior designer school you select provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Clanton AL, make sure that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Interior Design Online Courses Clanton AL
Picking the right interior design program is a crucial first step toward starting your career in this artistic and gratifying occupation. Searching for a college where you will obtain your training and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting task regardless of what field you have selected. As with any endeavor to receive an advanced education, there are many points to think about before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design college are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Interior Design Online Courses and wanted more info on the topic Online Degree Interior Design. But it is still essential that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design programs so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Clanton AL.
Other Alabama Designer Locations
Clanton is a city in Chilton County, Alabama, United States. It is part of the Birmingham–Hoover–Cullman Combined Statistical Area. At the 2010 census the population was 8,619. The city is the county seat of Chilton County. Clanton is near the site of the geographic center of the U.S state of Alabama.
The town was founded by Alfred Baker in 1868, when Chilton County was formed. Prior to establishment in 1868, the Town of Clanton was known as the community of "Goose Pond". Baker County was renamed to Chilton County and the community of "Goose Pond" became the Town of Clanton. Clanton was named in honor of General James H. Clanton, a brigadier in the Confederate States Army, and was incorporated on April 23, 1873. Baker was also elected first mayor of the town.
Nearby Lay Lake Dam and Mitchell Dam became Alabama Power's first two dams in the state, bringing economic improvements to the area. Immigrants played a part in starting the county's peach industry more than a century ago. Today, the peach industry is the number one industry in Chilton County, not only bringing fame to the county, but also millions of dollars to the local economy. The city of Clanton constructed a water tower in the form of a peach in 1993, becoming a landmark for travelers along Interstate 65.
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