Interior Designer Program
How to Select the Right One Near Knik Fairview Alaska
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near Knik Fairview AK, it's time to start the process of choosing a school. It's imperative that you get the appropriate training to develop your skills, even if you have always had a knack for designing residential or commercial interiors. And because interior designers are licensed in several states, the college you choose should prep you to pass any required licensing test as well as provide the proper training for your specialty. So it's crucial you carry out the appropriate research in order to assess and compare each college that you are looking at before you make your final choice. But where do you start? When checking out interior design schools, 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 option just because it has the lowest tuition or is located closest to your home. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation must be considered as well. We will discuss those topics and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training choices are offered.
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Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Many people confuse interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The main distinction between the two is the amount of training required. Any person can do business 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 many states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or residential areas functional as well as attractive. On many occasions they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are two general areas that an interior designer in Knik Fairview AK may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers normally focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.
There are numerous areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, such as color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui principles, Knik Fairview AK interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
Interior Design Degree Options
There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to receive the training needed to launch your new career in Knik Fairview AK. Your selection will no doubt be influenced by your career objectives as well as the money and time that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in several states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum amount of education needed to enter the profession. They take approximately 2 years to complete and programs are available at many Alaska trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative aspects of the trade required 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 provide advanced design training after achieving a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialized 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 want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are normally completed in three to five years.
In order to work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be needed before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Designer Online Degree Programs
For students who to attend classes in the convenience of their Knik Fairview AK homes, there are accredited online interior design degrees. Attending classes online can be a good solution for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For a number of students online schools may be the only alternative if no interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Added expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make certain that the program you enroll in is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the discipline to obtain your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the perfect alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Design Colleges
Now that you have selected the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of assessing your college options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the college must be within commuting distance from your Knik Fairview AK residence. Naturally if you have decided on attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will narrow down your choices also. But choosing the most affordable school or the one that is nearest to home are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you should look at also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others to help you compare and ultimately pick the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's imperative to verify that the interior designer college and program that you select has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive assessment of their instructors and programs. Just make sure 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 college and the quality of the education are outstanding, it may also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Knik Fairview AK employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States requiring licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required also. So aside from furnishing an outstanding education, the Knik Fairview AK program you choose should also furnish the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for Alaska or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some support in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It could also indicate that the school has a large network of Knik Fairview AK business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Knik Fairview AK colleges you are evaluating and find out what kind of support they provide. Many of interior design colleges provide financial aid to their new students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide help in obtaining grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Knik Fairview AK colleges you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Knik Fairview home, go to the school and monitor a couple of classes. While there talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior designer school you select provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Knik Fairview AK, make certain that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Best Knik Fairview Interior Design School
Selecting the right interior design college is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding occupation. Locating a school where you will obtain your education and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a difficult job no matter what major you have decided on. As with any undertaking to acquire an advanced education, there are several factors to consider before choosing a school, program, or course. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. It is still essential that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design programs so that you can make the right final selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Knik Fairview Alaska.