How to Choose an Interior Designer Program Kenai 99611
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design college near Kenai AK, it’s time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential interiors, it’s essential that you obtain the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it’s vital that you do the proper research so that you can analyze and compare each school that you are looking at before you make your ultimate selection. But exactly where do you begin? Many future students will launch their research by searching for colleges near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are important variables when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be considered as well. We will address those topics and other vital questions that you must ask 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 choices are available.
Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design
Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The main distinction between the two is the level of training required. Anyone can do business in Kenai AK as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or living spaces attractive as well as functional. On many projects they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are two broad areas that an interior designer can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes in Alaska. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers frequently concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the main consideration.
There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a Kenai designer needs to learn, such as lighting, color shemes, acoustics and furniture. They have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui principles, interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that help bring about their final creations.
Interior Design Training Programs
There are four degree options offered in interior design to get the training necessary to launch your new career. Your decision will undoubtedly be motivated by your career objectives in Kenai as well as the money and time that you have to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, be sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in a number of 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 furnish the minimum level of education needed to enter the field. They take approximately 2 years to complete and programs are offered at many trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level positions in Kenai as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical components of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position in Alaska as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs supply advanced design training after attaining a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide choices in specialized majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs 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.
In order to work as a professional and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, many states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be needed before an applicant can take the licensing exam.
Online Interior Designer Degree Programs
For those who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Kenai homes, there are online accredited interior design colleges. Attending classes online can be an excellent alternative for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when practical 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 added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Added costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated also. Just make sure that the program you select is accredited by a highly regarded 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 distance or online learning. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the ideal alternative for you.
What to Ask Interior Design Schools
When you have selected the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the task of assessing your college options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the school has to be within commuting distance from your Kenai home. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will narrow down your options also. But picking the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you need to look at as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a few questions that you may want to address with the programs you are considering to get those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and subsequently choose the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It’s essential to confirm that the interior designer program and school that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. 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 demanding 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 recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Kenai employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of states do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those states calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. So besides providing an outstanding education, the program you choose should also provide the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Alaska or the state where you will be employed.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some support in finding your first position in Kenai. 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 highly regarded within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It might also signify that the college has a substantial network of business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial assistance offices for the schools you are looking at and ask what type of aid they offer in 99611. A number of Alaska interior design programs offer financial aid to their incoming students. Certain schools offer partial scholarships while others provide assistance in securing grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the colleges you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Kenai home, go to the campus and sit in on a few classes. While there talk with some students and find out 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 Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior designer school you select provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Kenai, make certain that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.
Choose the Best Interior Designer College Kenai AKChoosing the right interior designer college is an important first step toward launching your career in this creative and gratifying profession. Locating a school where you will obtain your training and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a challenging job regardless of what field you have chosen. As with any endeavor to attain a higher education, there are many factors 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 respected in the field. But it is still imperative that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare schools so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer.