Interior Designer Course
How to Choose the Right One Near Eagle River Alaska
So it’s time to start the process of selecting an interior design school near Eagle River AK once you have made a career decision to study to be an interior designer. It's important that you get the appropriate training to develop your skills, even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors. And since interior designers must be licensed in a number of states, the school you choose should prep you to pass any required licensing exam as well as provide the proper training for your specialty. So it's essential you do the proper research in order to assess and compare each school that you are looking at prior to making your ultimate choice. But just how do you approach finding the right program? Some future students will kick off their research by searching for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are key variables when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. There are various other qualifications that you should weigh when analyzing schools, such as accreditation and reputation. We will address 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 cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class choices are offered.
IT TAKES JUST A FEW MINUTES TO START YOUR INTERIOR DESIGN CAREER BELOW!
Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Many people mistake interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The principal difference between the two is the amount of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. However, doing business as an interior designer requires formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or living spaces attractive as well as functional. On some occasions they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad areas that an interior designer in Eagle River AK may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any area of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers frequently concentrate predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.
There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, including lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Eagle River AK interior designers implement a wide range of skills that help bring about their final creations.
Interior Design Degree Programs
There are four degree options offered in interior design to obtain the training necessary to start your new profession in Eagle River AK. Your decision will undoubtedly be driven by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in some states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum level of education required to enter the profession. They take about two years to complete and programs are available at a number of Alaska community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that supply more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative aspects of the business required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced design training after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are primarily for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary 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 colleges become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be called for before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.
Online Interior Designer Courses
For those who wish to study in the comfort of their Eagle River AK homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Attending classes online can be an excellent solution for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For many students online colleges may be the only option if no interior design schools are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Additional expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the college you enroll in is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the right alternative for you.
What to Ask Interior Designer Schools
Once you have decided on the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of evaluating your school options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your Eagle River AK residence. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will decrease your choices as well. But picking the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you should consider also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are considering to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and subsequently select the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the interior designer college and program that you choose has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding evaluation of their programs and instructors. 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 obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Eagle River AK employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of 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 program. And in some of those States requiring licensing, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required also. So in addition to furnishing an excellent education, the Eagle River AK college you select should also provide the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet 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 attained your interior design certification, you will no doubt need some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design field and its students are sought after. It might also signify that the school has a significant network of Eagle River AK business connections where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Eagle River AK colleges you are looking at and find out what type of aid they provide. Many of interior designer colleges provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Some schools offer partial scholarships and others provide support in acquiring grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Eagle River AK programs you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Eagle River home, visit the school and monitor a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior design college you enroll in offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Eagle River AK, make certain that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Best Eagle River Interior Design College
Choosing the ideal interior design program is a critical first step toward launching your career in this artistic and rewarding profession. Finding a school where you will receive your education and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a difficult task no matter what field you have selected. As with any endeavor to acquire a higher education, there are several things to consider before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. It is still important that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design programs so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with quality training and your determination to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Eagle River Alaska.