How to Select an Interior Designer Course near Moulton Alabama
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer school near Moulton 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 important that you get the right training to put your talents to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s vital that you perform the appropriate research in order to evaluate and compare each school that you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection. But just where do you start? A number of prospective students will kick off their research by looking for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are relevant factors when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation must be considered also. We will cover those issues and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are interested in 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 choices are available.
Interior Decoration vs Interior Design
Many people confuse interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The main difference between the two is the amount of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer requires formal training 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 areas attractive as well as functional. On some occasions they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Moulton AL may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any room of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public areas, designers normally concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.
There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, including lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui concepts, Moulton AL interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that contribute to their final designs.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to get the training required to start your new profession in Moulton AL. Your decision will undoubtedly be driven by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, be sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in several states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief descriptions 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 offered at numerous Alabama vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative components of the business required to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced design training after acquiring a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide choices in specialized majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mainly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work professionally and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required before an applicant can take the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Degree Programs
For those who wish to study in the comfort of their Moulton AL homes, there are online accredited interior design degrees. Attending classes online can be a good option for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For many students online colleges may be the only alternative if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Additional costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the college you pick is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also acquire 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 structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the ideal alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Designer Schools
After you have selected the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of evaluating your college options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the school needs to be within driving distance from your Moulton AL home. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will decrease your choices also. But selecting the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your house are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other things that you should consider also, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a few concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are considering to get those answers as well as others to help you assess and ultimately choose the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It’s important to verify that the interior designer college and program that you select has earned accreditation from 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). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment of their instructors and programs. Just verify that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Moulton AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States calling for licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required as well. So aside from providing an outstanding education, the Moulton AL program you select should also provide the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements 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 design certification, you will no doubt need some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It may also signify that the college has a significant network of Moulton AL business connections where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial aid offices for the Moulton AL schools you are evaluating and ask what kind of assistance they provide. A number of interior design colleges provide financial aid to their incoming students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide support in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Moulton AL programs you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Moulton home, visit the college and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak 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 Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior design school you enroll in provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Moulton AL, make certain that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Considering Attending Interior Design School in Moulton AL?
Moulton is a city in Lawrence County, Alabama, United States and is included in the Decatur Metropolitan Area, as well as the Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area. Although it incorporated in 1819, along with its rival of Courtland, to compete for the honor of county seat, it did not first appear on the U.S. Census rolls until 1900. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city is 3,471, its record high. The city has been the county seat of Lawrence County since 1820. It has been the largest community in the county since the 1920 U.S. Census.
As of the census of 2010, there were 3,471 people, 1,482 households, and 912 families residing in the city. The population density was 552.1 people per square mile (213.3/km²). There were 1,486 housing units at an average density of 251.7 per square mile (97.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 78.2% White, 13.1% Black or African American, 4.1% Native American, 0.4% Asian, 0.2% from other races, and 4.1% from two or more races. 1.6% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 1,482 households out of which 25.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.7% were married couples living together, 14.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.5% were non-families. 36.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.19 and the average family size was 2.84.
Pick the Best Interior Design School near Moulton AL
Choosing the ideal interior designer college is a critical initial step toward launching your career in this creative and rewarding profession. Searching for a school where you will receive your education and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting task no matter what field you have selected. As with any undertaking to acquire an advanced education, there are many points to think about before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the profession. But it is still important that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare programs so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Moulton AL.
More Awesome Cities in Alabama
Business Results 1 - 10 of 3