How to Enroll in the Best Interior Designer Course near Moores Mill Alabama
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Moores Mill AL, it's time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's essential that you get the appropriate training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's very important that you do the appropriate research in order to evaluate and compare each school that you are considering prior to making your final choice. But just where do you begin? A number of potential students will start their research by looking for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are important variables when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation should be considered also. We will address those issues 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 class alternatives are available.
Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration
Some people confuse interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The main difference between the two is the level of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they have 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 as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or living spaces attractive as well as functional. On some projects they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Moores Mill AL can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any room of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers often concentrate predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.
There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, such as color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui principles, Moores Mill AL interior designers employ a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
Interior Designer Degrees
There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to obtain the training needed to begin your new profession in Moores Mill AL. Your decision will undoubtedly be motivated by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in several states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum amount of education needed to enter the field. They take about 2 years to complete and programs are offered at numerous Alabama trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can typically qualify for 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 aspects of the business needed 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 furnish advanced training in design after acquiring a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialty majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are largely for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are usually completed in three to five years.
In order to work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be called for before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Programs
For students who to study in the comfort of their Moores Mill AL homes, there are online accredited interior design schools. Attending classes online can be an excellent alternative for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For some students online programs may be the sole alternative if no interior design schools are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Added costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make certain that the college you choose is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the dedication to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the perfect alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
Once you have selected the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of reviewing your school options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the college has to be within driving distance from your Moores Mill AL home. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But choosing the least expensive school or the one that is closest to home are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you should look at as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a few questions that you may want to ask the programs you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and subsequently pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the interior design program and college that you enroll in has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive assessment of their programs and instructors. Just make sure that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are outstanding, it may also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Moores Mill AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States requiring licensing, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. So in addition to providing an excellent education, the Moores Mill AL college you enroll in should also furnish the proper education to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy 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 received your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some help in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It could also signify that the school has a substantial network of Moores Mill AL business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial aid departments for the Moores Mill AL colleges you are looking at and ask what kind of aid they provide. A number of interior designer programs provide financial aid to their new students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide support in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited program is imperative 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 provide more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Moores Mill AL schools you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Moores Mill home, go to the school and sit in on a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior designer school you choose offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Moores Mill AL, make certain that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an option as well. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Moores Mill Interior Design College
Picking the ideal interior design college is a crucial initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and rewarding occupation. Searching for a college where you will obtain your training and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a difficult job regardless of what field you have decided on. As with any endeavor to receive an advanced education, there are many factors to think about before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, verify that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. However it is still imperative that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with quality training and your determination to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Moores Mill Alabama.