How to Choose an Interior Design College Ketchikan 99901
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer school near Ketchikan AK, it’s time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial interiors, it’s important that you receive the proper training to put your talents to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it’s crucial that you perform the proper research so that you can evaluate and compare each program that you are reviewing before you make your final decision. But exactly where do you begin? Some prospective students will begin their research by looking for schools near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are key issues when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation need to be considered also. We will cover those topics and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class alternatives are offered.
Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Often people confuse interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The principal distinction between them is the amount of training required. Any person can do business in Ketchikan AK as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer requires formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make living or work areas attractive as well as functional. On various projects they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are two broad categories that an interior designer can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes in Alaska. They can design basically any room of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial areas, designers normally focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of 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 focus more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.
There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a Ketchikan designer needs to learn, including lighting, color shemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui concepts, interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final designs.
Interior Design Degrees
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to obtain the training needed to launch your new career. Your selection will undoubtedly be influenced by your career objectives in Ketchikan in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in a number of states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum level of training needed to enter the field. They take approximately 2 years to finish and programs are available at a number of trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can usually obtain entry level employment in Ketchikan as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that furnish more in depth 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 job in Alaska 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 choices in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to enhance 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 vary in length but are generally completed in 3 to 5 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 field experience may be needed before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Schools
For those who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Ketchikan homes, there are online accredited interior design colleges. Studying online can be a good option for those students that are employed or have busy 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 programs may be the only option if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated also. Just make certain that the program you pick is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. 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.
Questions to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
When you have chosen the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of analyzing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your Ketchikan residence. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will narrow down your choices also. But selecting the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to your house are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you should consider also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Following are a few questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others to help you examine and subsequently pick the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It’s imperative to make sure that the interior design program and school that you select has been accredited by 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 a demanding assessment of their programs and teachers. Just verify 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 verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Ketchikan employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some 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 college. And in several of those states requiring licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required also. Therefore in addition to furnishing an outstanding education, the program you choose should also furnish the proper training to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be employed.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some assistance in finding your first job in Ketchikan. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It could also indicate that the college has a significant network of business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial aid departments for the colleges you are reviewing and find out what kind of support they provide in 99901. Many of Alaska interior designer schools offer financial assistance to their new students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide help in securing federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, 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 convenient from your Ketchikan home, visit the school and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior designer school you select offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Ketchikan, verify that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Find the Ideal Interior Designer School Ketchikan AKSelecting the right interior design program is an important initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and gratifying profession. Locating a school where you will receive your education and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a challenging task regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to acquire a higher education, there are a number of factors to consider before selecting a program, course or school. 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 conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare colleges so that you can make the right final selection. And with quality training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer.