How to Choose the Right Interior Designer Program Mobile 36601
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design degree program near Mobile AL, it’s time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential interiors, it’s imperative that you get the appropriate training to put your talents to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s essential that you perform the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each college that you are considering prior to making your ultimate choice. But exactly where do you start? Some future students will launch their research by searching for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. 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 need to be considered as well. We will discuss those issues and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But before we do, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training choices are available.
Interior Decoration vs Interior Design
Often people mistake interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The principal difference between them is the level of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, conducting 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 trained to make living or work spaces attractive as well as functional. On various occasions they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Mobile AL may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often 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, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers often focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For instance, 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 primary concern.
There are numerous areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui concepts, Mobile AL interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final creations.
Interior Design Degree Options
There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to obtain the training needed to begin your new profession in Mobile AL. Your choice will no doubt be motivated by your career objectives in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure to pick 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 discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief descriptions 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 profession. They take approximately two years to complete and programs are available at a number of Alabama trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can typically obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative components of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to secure 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 business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are mainly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work professionally and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be called for before a candidate can take the licensing examination.
Online Interior Designer Degree Programs
For those who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their Mobile AL homes, there are online accredited interior design schools. Studying online can be a great solution for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. 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 option if no interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Additional expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make sure that the school you enroll in is accredited by a highly regarded 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 online or distance learning. If you have the dedication to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the right alternative for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
Once you have selected the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of reviewing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the college has to be within driving distance from your Mobile AL residence. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will decrease your options as well. But choosing the cheapest college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other things that you need to consider also, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Following are a few concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are looking at to obtain those answers as well as others to help you compare and ultimately select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It’s essential to confirm that the interior design program and school that you select has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive evaluation of their teachers 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 confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Mobile AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do mandate that interior designers become 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 program. And in some of those States mandating licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required as well. So besides furnishing an exceptional education, the Mobile AL program you select should also furnish the proper training to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will no doubt need some support in finding your first position. 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 a good sign that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It may also signify that the college has a large network of Mobile AL business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial aid offices for the Mobile AL schools you are evaluating and ask what kind of support they provide. Many of interior design colleges offer financial aid to their new students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited school is essential 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 one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Mobile AL programs you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Mobile home, visit the school and attend a couple of 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 Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior design school you choose offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Mobile AL, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Enrolling in an Interior Design School near Mobile AL?
Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the Mobile Alabama area. If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.
Mobile (/moʊˈbiːl/ moh-BEEL; French pronunciation: [mɔ.bil]) is the county seat of Mobile County, Alabama, United States. The population within the city limits was 195,111 as of the 2010 United States Census, making it the third most populous city in Alabama, the most populous in Mobile County, and the largest municipality on the Gulf Coast between New Orleans, Louisiana, and St. Petersburg, Florida.
Alabama's only saltwater port, Mobile is located on the Mobile River at the head of the Mobile Bay and the north-central Gulf Coast. The Port of Mobile has always played a key role in the economic health of the city, beginning with the settlement as an important trading center between the French colonists and Native Americans, down to its current role as the 12th-largest port in the United States.
Mobile is the principal municipality of the Mobile metropolitan area. This region of 412,992 residents is composed solely of Mobile County; it is the third-largest metropolitan statistical area in the state. Mobile is the largest city in the Mobile-Daphne−Fairhope CSA, with a total population of 604,726, the second largest in the state. As of 2011[update], the population within a 60-mile (100 km) radius of Mobile is 1,262,907.
Pick the Ideal Interior Design School near Mobile AL
Selecting the right interior designer program is a crucial first step toward launching your career in this creative and rewarding occupation. Searching for a college where you will obtain your education and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a daunting job regardless of what major you have decided on. As with any endeavor to receive a higher education, there are a number of factors to consider before choosing a school, program, or course. At a minimum, confirm that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the business. You originally came upon this website because you had an initial interest in Study Interior Design At University. But it is still imperative that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with quality training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Mobile AL.
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