Interior Designer Course
How to Enroll in the Right One Near Fairbanks Alaska
So it’s time to begin the process of choosing an interior design school near Fairbanks AK now that you have made a career choice 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 commercial or residential interiors. And since interior designers are licensed in several states, the college you choose should prepare you to pass any required licensing test and provide the proper training for your specialty. So it's crucial you perform the appropriate research so that you can evaluate and compare each college that you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection. But exactly where do you begin? When checking out interior design programs, the majority of students start by zeroing in on those that are nearest to their homes with the lowest tuition. But keep in mind, a school is not always the right choice just because it happens to have a campus near your home or is lower in cost. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into account also. We will address those issues and other crucial questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at 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 available.
IT TAKES JUST A FEW MINUTES TO START YOUR INTERIOR DESIGN CAREER BELOW!
Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Some people mistake interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The principal distinction between them is the amount of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, working as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or residential spaces functional as well as attractive. On many projects they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Fairbanks AK may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any room of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers often focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.
There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, including lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Fairbanks AK interior designers implement a wide range of skills that contribute to their final creations.
Interior Design Degree Programs
There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to get the training necessary to launch your new career in Fairbanks AK. Your choice will undoubtedly be motivated by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, make certain to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in some states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum level of education needed to enter the profession. They take approximately two years to complete and programs are available at a number of Alaska community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can usually obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that supply more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical facets of the business needed to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced training in design after acquiring a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide alternatives in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are mostly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are normally 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 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 anyone wishing' to study in the comfort of their Fairbanks AK homes, there are accredited online interior design colleges. Studying online can be an excellent option for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For a number of students online schools may be the only option if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Added costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated also. Just make certain that the college you pick is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also earn 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 environment, then an online interior design school may be the ideal alternative for you.
What to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
After you have decided on the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of analyzing your college options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the college has to be within commuting distance from your Fairbanks AK residence. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will decrease your choices as well. But selecting the most affordable college or the one that is closest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you should consider also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a few questions that you may want to address with the programs you are reviewing to get those answers in addition to others to help you examine and subsequently select the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's necessary to make sure that the interior design program and college 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 earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous assessment of their teachers and programs. Just verify that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Fairbanks AK employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States requiring licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required as well. So in addition to furnishing an exceptional education, the Fairbanks AK school you enroll in should also furnish the proper training to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some support in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It might also indicate that the school has a significant network of Fairbanks AK business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Fairbanks AK colleges you are looking at and ask what kind of aid they provide. Many of interior design programs offer financial aid to their incoming students. Various schools 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 important for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Fairbanks AK programs you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Fairbanks home, go to the school and attend a few classes. While there talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior designer college you enroll in provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Fairbanks AK, confirm that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Enroll in the Best Fairbanks Interior Design School
Choosing the ideal interior design school is an important first 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 challenging task no matter what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to receive an advanced education, there are several points to think about before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, confirm that the design college and program are both accredited and highly esteemed in the business. It is still important that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design programs so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Fairbanks Alaska.