Interior Designer School
How to Enroll in the Right One Near Knik Fairview Alaska
So it’s time to start the process of choosing an interior design school near Knik Fairview AK once you have made a career decision to become an interior designer. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's important that you obtain the appropriate training to put your talents to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it's crucial you do the appropriate research in order to analyze and compare each college that you are looking at before you make your ultimate choice. But just how do you approach enrolling in the right program? Many prospective students will begin their research by looking for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are relevant issues when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into account as well. We will address those topics and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But before we do, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training options are offered.
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Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Many people mistake interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The primary difference between the two is the amount of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, working as an interior designer requires formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make living or work areas attractive as well as functional. On many projects they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are two general areas that an interior designer in Knik Fairview AK may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any area of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers frequently concentrate predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over appearance as the main consideration.
There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui principles, Knik Fairview AK interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final creations.
Interior Design Degree Programs
There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to receive the training required to launch your new profession in Knik Fairview AK. Your choice will no doubt be motivated by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, make 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 addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum level of education needed to enter the profession. They take approximately 2 years to complete and programs are offered at many Alaska trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can normally obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that supply more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical facets of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced design training after achieving a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialty majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are primarily for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are typically completed in three to five years.
In order to work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required before an applicant can take the licensing examination.
Online Interior Designer Classes
For those who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their Knik Fairview AK homes, there are online accredited interior design classes. Attending classes online can be a great solution for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For many students online colleges may be the sole 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. Added costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated also. Just make sure that the program you choose is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also acquire 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 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
Once you have chosen the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of analyzing your school options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the campus has to be within driving distance from your Knik Fairview AK home. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will limit your choices as well. But selecting the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you need to look at also, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and subsequently select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's imperative to make sure that the interior design program and school that you choose has earned accreditation from 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 obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding evaluation of their programs and instructors. 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 education 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, a number of Knik Fairview AK employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States mandating licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required as well. So aside from furnishing an exceptional education, the Knik Fairview AK college you enroll in should also furnish the proper training to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Alaska or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some help in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It could also indicate that the school has a large network of Knik Fairview AK business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Available? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Knik Fairview AK schools you are looking at and find out what kind of support they provide. Many of interior design programs offer financial assistance to their new students. Some schools offer partial scholarships and others provide support in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Knik Fairview AK schools you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Knik Fairview home, visit the school and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior design program you choose offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Knik Fairview AK, confirm that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Enroll in the Best Knik Fairview Interior Design College
Choosing the ideal interior designer school is a critical first step toward launching your career in this creative and rewarding profession. Finding a school where you will receive your education and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a daunting job no matter what field you have decided on. As with any endeavor to receive a higher education, there are many points to think about before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the business. It is still important that you conduct 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 ideal final selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Knik Fairview Alaska.