Interior Designer Course
How to Enroll in the Right One Near Anchorage Alaska
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near Anchorage AK, it's time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's imperative that you get the appropriate training to put your natural abilities to work. And since interior designers must be licensed in a number of states, the college you choose should prepare you to pass any required licensing test and provide the necessary training for your specialty. So it's vital you carry out the proper research so that you can assess and compare each program that you are reviewing before you make your final selection. But just how do you undertake finding the right program? A number of potential students will kick off their research by looking for interior design courses near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are key factors when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. There are various other factors that you should evaluate when analyzing schools, such as accreditation and reputation. We will cover those topics and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training options are offered.
IT TAKES JUST A FEW MINUTES TO START YOUR INTERIOR DESIGN CAREER BELOW!
Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Often people confuse interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The principal distinction between the two is the amount of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, working as an interior designer requires a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make living or work spaces functional as well as attractive. On various projects they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Anchorage AK may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When working on public or commercial areas, designers normally focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the main concern.
There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui principles, Anchorage AK interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
Interior Design Degree Programs
There are four degree options offered in interior design to get the training necessary to launch your new career in Anchorage AK. Your selection will undoubtedly be driven by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in several states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum level of education needed to enter the field. They take approximately 2 years to finish and programs are available at numerous Alaska vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that provide more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical components of the business required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree 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 training in design after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives in specialty 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 the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are largely for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary in length but are generally completed in three to five years.
To work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be needed before a candidate can take the licensing examination.
Online Interior Designer Schools
For students who to study in the convenience of their Anchorage AK homes, there are online accredited interior design schools. Studying online can be a great alternative for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For many students online programs may be the sole option if no interior design programs 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 reduced or eliminated also. Just make sure 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 programs may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Design Colleges
When you have chosen the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the college needs to be within driving distance from your Anchorage AK home. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will decrease your options also. But picking the cheapest school or the one that is closest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other things that you should consider also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others to help you assess and ultimately choose the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's necessary to make sure that the interior designer program and school that you choose has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment of their programs and teachers. 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 excellent, it might also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Anchorage AK employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do require 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 school. And in some of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from furnishing an outstanding education, the Anchorage AK program you select should also provide the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will no doubt need some support in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It may also signify that the college has a substantial network of Anchorage AK business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Anchorage AK colleges you are reviewing and find out what type of support they offer. A number of interior design colleges provide financial assistance to their new students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide support in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Anchorage AK programs you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Anchorage home, go to the campus and sit in on a couple of classes. While there speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior designer program you choose offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Anchorage AK, verify that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Learn More About How to Become an Interior Designer in Anchorage
Choose the Best Anchorage Interior Design School
Choosing the right interior design program is a crucial first step toward launching your career in this creative and gratifying profession. Finding a school where you will receive your education and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a challenging task no matter what field you have decided on. As with any undertaking to receive an advanced education, there are a number of factors to think about before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, confirm that the design college and program are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. It is still important that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design schools 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 Anchorage Alaska.
Anchorage Interior Design Programs | Anchorage Interior Design Courses