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How to Select the Best Interior Designer Course near Moores Mill Alabama

Moores Mill Alabama interior designed living room with entertainment centerNow that you have decided to enroll in an interior design degree program near Moores Mill AL, it's time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's important that you receive the proper training to put your skills to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it's crucial that you carry out the proper research so that you can evaluate and compare each program that you are considering before you make your ultimate choice. But where do you begin? A number of prospective students will launch their research by searching for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are key factors when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into consideration as well. We will cover those issues and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But before we do, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training options are offered.

Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design

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Often people confuse interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The primary difference between the two is the level of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, working as an interior designer requires a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make living or work areas functional as well as attractive. On various occasions they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are two broad areas that an interior designer in Moores Mill AL can specialize in:

  • Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any room of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public areas, designers frequently concentrate predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.

There are numerous areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, such as lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui principles, Moores Mill AL interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.

Interior Designer Training Programs

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There are 4 degree options available in interior design to obtain the training necessary to launch your new profession in Moores Mill AL. Your choice will no doubt be driven by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, be sure to choose 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 addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum amount of education required to enter the profession. They take approximately two years to finish and programs are available at a number of Alabama trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can usually obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that deliver more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical components 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 job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced design training after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral 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 generally completed in three to five years.

In order to work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be called for before a candidate can take the licensing exam.

Interior Design Online Programs

For students who to study in the convenience of their Moores Mill AL homes, there are online accredited interior design colleges. Attending classes online can be a good option for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For some students online schools may be the sole option if no interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Added expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated also. Just make sure that the school you choose is accredited by a respected accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the dedication to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the ideal option for you.

Topics to Ask Interior Design Colleges

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Once you have decided on the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of analyzing your school options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the school needs to be within commuting distance from your Moores Mill AL residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will limit your options also. But selecting the cheapest school or the one that is closest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you need to consider as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a few questions that you may want to address with the schools you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you examine and ultimately pick the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's imperative to verify that the interior designer program and school that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding assessment of their instructors and programs. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it may also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Moores Mill AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.

Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do mandate that interior designers become 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 college. And in several of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required also. So in addition to furnishing an excellent education, the Moores Mill AL program you select should also provide the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be working.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will probably need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its graduates are in demand. It could also signify that the college has a significant network of Moores Mill AL business connections where they can place students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Moores Mill AL schools you are reviewing and ask what type of assistance they offer. Many of interior design programs offer financial assistance to their new students. Various schools offer partial scholarships and others provide help in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Moores Mill AL schools you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Moores Mill home, go to the campus and monitor a few classes. While there speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior designer school you enroll in provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Moores Mill AL, make certain that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.

Find Out More About Moores Mill Interior Design Courses

Enroll in the Right Moores Mill Interior Design School

Choosing the right interior design school is an important initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and fulfilling occupation. Locating a college where you will receive your education and develop your skills in a particular 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 choosing a school, program, or course. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. However it is still imperative that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively review 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 achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Moores Mill Alabama.