How to Pick an Interior Designer College Eagle River 99577
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design degree program near Eagle River AK, it’s time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it’s important that you obtain the right training to put your skills to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it’s crucial that you do the proper research so that you can evaluate and compare each school that you are looking at before you make your final decision. But exactly where do you begin? Some prospective students will launch their research by searching for schools near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are key variables when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into consideration as well. We will discuss those topics and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are researching 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.
Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Often people confuse interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The primary difference between them is the amount of education required. Any person can do business in Eagle River AK as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, working as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make living or work areas functional as well as attractive. On various projects they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are two general categories that an interior designer can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction in Alaska. They can design essentially any room of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with public or commercial areas, designers frequently focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.
There are numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design that a Eagle River designer must learn, such as lighting, color shemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui principles, interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
Interior Design Degrees
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to receive the training necessary to begin your new career. Your choice will undoubtedly be driven by your career goals in Eagle River as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in some states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum level of training needed to enter the profession. They take about 2 years to finish and programs are offered at numerous trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level employment in Eagle River as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical components of the business required to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level position in Alaska 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 alternatives in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are primarily for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work professionally and use the title of “Interior Designer”, many states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be needed before an applicant can take the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Degree Programs
For students who to study in the convenience of their Eagle River homes, there are accredited online interior design degrees. Studying online can be a great solution for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For some students online schools may be the only option if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Additional costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the program you enroll in is accredited by a respected 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 online or distance education. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the right alternative for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Programs
Now that you have chosen the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of assessing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the campus needs to be within driving distance from your Eagle River residence. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will narrow down your choices also. But choosing the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you need to look at as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a few concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are looking at to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you assess and subsequently choose the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It’s imperative to make sure that the interior design college and program that you choose has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. 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 a rigorous evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it may also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Eagle River employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, 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 in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those states calling for licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required as well. So besides furnishing an exceptional education, the school you select should also furnish the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for Alaska or the state where you will be working.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some support in finding your first job in Eagle River. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its students are sought after. It might also indicate that the college has a substantial network of business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial assistance departments for the colleges you are looking at and ask what type of assistance they offer in 99577. Many of Alaska interior designer colleges offer financial assistance to their new students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide help in acquiring federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the colleges you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Eagle River home, go to the campus and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior designer school you select offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Eagle River, make certain that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right Interior Design School Eagle River AKChoosing the ideal interior designer program is a crucial first step toward launching your career in this artistic and rewarding profession. Searching for a school where you will obtain your training and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a challenging task no matter what field you have selected. As with any undertaking to acquire a higher education, there are many points to consider before choosing a school, program, or course. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. However it is still essential that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare colleges 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.