How to Select the Right Interior Designer College near Moulton Alabama
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Moulton 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 spaces, it’s imperative 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 training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s very important that you perform the appropriate research in order to evaluate and compare each program that you are considering before you make your ultimate decision. But just where do you begin? A number of prospective students will start their research by searching for interior design courses near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are relevant variables when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into consideration as well. We will address those topics and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But first, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are offered.
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Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration
Many people mistake interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The primary difference between them is the amount of training required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. However, working as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or residential spaces functional as well as attractive. On some occasions they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Moulton AL can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently 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 example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers frequently concentrate predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may focus more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.
There are numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui concepts, Moulton AL interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
Interior Design Training Programs
There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to get the training necessary to start your new career in Moulton AL. Your selection will undoubtedly be driven by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, be sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated 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. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum amount of education required to enter the field. They take approximately 2 years to finish and programs are available at a number of Alabama trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that supply more in depth 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 graduating student in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced training in design after achieving a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer options in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are primarily for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are generally completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work professionally and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, many states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be needed before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Classes
For those who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Moulton AL homes, there are online accredited interior design degrees. Attending classes online can be a good alternative for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when convenient 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 added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated also. Just be 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 colleges may also receive 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 setting, then an online interior design program may be the ideal alternative for you.
What to Ask Interior Designer Programs
When you have decided on the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of analyzing your college options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the school needs to be within driving distance from your Moulton AL home. Obviously if you have decided on attending a school online, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will narrow down your options also. But picking the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to home are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you need to look at also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Below are a few concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and ultimately select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It’s imperative to verify that the interior designer school and program that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding assessment of their instructors and programs. Just make sure 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 establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are excellent, it may also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Moulton AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of occupational experience may be required also. So in addition to providing an excellent education, the Moulton AL school you select should also provide the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will no doubt need some help in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It might also signify that the college has a large network of Moulton AL business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Moulton AL colleges you are reviewing and ask what kind of support they provide. Many of interior design programs offer financial aid to their incoming students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide help in acquiring federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Moulton AL schools you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Moulton home, visit the campus and attend a few classes. While there speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior designer college you select offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend 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, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Choosing Accredited Interior Design Programs Moulton AL
Picking the ideal interior designer college is an important first step toward starting your career in this creative and fulfilling profession. Finding a school where you will obtain your training and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult job regardless of what field you have decided on. As with any undertaking to attain a higher education, there are many things to consider before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, make sure that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the field. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Choosing Accredited Interior Design Programs and wanted more info on the topic Schools That Offer Interior Design. However it is still essential that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design programs so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Moulton AL.
Other Alabama Designer Locations
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.
By the time Alabama became a state in 1819, an inn had been erected at the site of what is now Moulton to serve migrants along the various early paths that passed through the area. Shortly after Alabama achieved statehood, both Moulton and Courtland (to the north) incorporated and competed for the county seat of Lawrence County. Governor Thomas Bibb awarded the seat to Moulton as the most centrally located of the two within the county. The city is named for Lieutenant Michael Moulton, a soldier killed while fighting under General Andrew Jackson at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend in 1814.
Moulton is located at 34°28′56″N 87°17′8″W / 34.48222°N 87.28556°W / 34.48222; -87.28556 (34.482307, -87.285621). The city is concentrated along Alabama State Route 33 southwest of Decatur. Alabama State Route 24 passes through the northern part of the city, and Alabama State Route 157 passes through its eastern section. The William B. Bankhead National Forest lies to the southwest of Moulton.
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