Interior Designer Course
How to Find the Right One Near Knik Fairview Alaska
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design school near Knik Fairview AK, it's time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's important that you get the appropriate training to put your talents to work. And since interior designers must be licensed in several states, the college you select should prepare you to pass any required licensing exam as well as provide the necessary training for your specialty. So in order to evaluate and compare each school you are considering prior to making your final selection it's crucial that you do the proper due diligence. But just how do you go about finding the right school? When looking for interior design programs, the majority of students start by zeroing in on the ones that are nearest to their homes with the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are relevant issues when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. There are a number of other factors that you should weigh when reviewing schools, for example reputation and accreditation. We will address those topics 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 talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class alternatives are available.
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Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Often people confuse interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The main distinction between the two is the amount of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates formal training 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 various occasions they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. 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 a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers normally concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the main consideration.
There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, including color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui concepts, Knik Fairview AK interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final designs.
Interior Design Degrees
There are four degree options available in interior design to obtain the training needed to begin your new career in Knik Fairview AK. Your choice will no doubt be driven by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt 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 required in a number of states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum amount of training needed to enter the field. They take roughly two years to complete and programs are available at a number of Alaska trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that provide more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical facets of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced training in design after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer choices in specialty majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are largely for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be called for before a candidate can take the licensing exam.
Interior Designer Online Classes
For anyone wishing' to study in the comfort of their Knik Fairview AK homes, there are online accredited interior design classes. Studying online can be an excellent option for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For a number of students online schools may be the only alternative if no interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Additional expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated also. Just be sure that the college you select is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the perfect option for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Design Programs
Once you have chosen the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of assessing your college options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the college has to be within driving distance from your Knik Fairview AK residence. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will limit your choices as well. But selecting the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other things that you should look at 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 considering to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and subsequently select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's necessary to confirm that the interior designer school and program that you select has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. 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 undergone an extensive assessment of their instructors and programs. Just make sure 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 confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are excellent, it may also help when requesting 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 mentioned earlier, a number of States do require that interior designers get 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 college. And in some of those States calling for licensing, at least 2 years of occupational experience may be required also. So in addition to furnishing an outstanding education, the Knik Fairview AK program you choose should also provide the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the State where you will be working.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will probably need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its students are sought after. It may also indicate that the school has a substantial network of Knik Fairview AK business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Knik Fairview AK schools you are reviewing and ask what kind of support they provide. A number of interior design programs provide financial aid to their incoming students. Some schools provide partial scholarships and others provide help in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Knik Fairview AK schools you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Knik Fairview home, visit the college and sit in on a few classes. While there speak with a few 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? Last, confirm that the interior designer college you enroll in offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Knik Fairview AK, make sure that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, check 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 Right Knik Fairview Interior Design College
Choosing the ideal interior design program is an important first step toward starting your career in this artistic and fulfilling profession. Finding a school where you will receive your training and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a challenging job regardless of what field you have decided on. As with any undertaking to attain a higher education, there are many things to think about before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the field. It is still essential that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Knik Fairview Alaska.