How to Choose an Interior Designer Degree Program Pilot Point 99649
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Pilot Point AK, it’s time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors, it’s imperative that you get the right training to put your talents to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s crucial that you perform the proper research so that you can evaluate and compare each school that you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection. But exactly where do you begin? Some prospective students will start their research by searching for schools near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are key variables when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation must be considered as well. We will cover those issues and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are reviewing 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 options are offered.
Interior Decoration and Interior Design
Often people confuse interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The principal difference between the two is the level of education required. Anyone can do business in Pilot Point AK as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education 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 work or residential spaces attractive as well as functional. On some occasions they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes in Alaska. They can design essentially any area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers often 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 stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.
There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a Pilot Point designer must learn, including lighting, color shemes, acoustics and furniture. They 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 including Feng shui principles, interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
Interior Design Degrees
There are four degree options available in interior design to obtain the training necessary to launch your new career. Your decision will undoubtedly be driven by your career objectives in Pilot Point in addition to 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 needed in order to qualify for 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 short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum amount of training required to enter the profession. They take about 2 years to complete and programs are available at numerous vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level positions in Pilot Point as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that furnish more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative components of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level job in Alaska as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs provide advanced training in design after attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide options in specialty majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are primarily for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are usually 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 schools become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be required before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.
Interior Designer Online Schools
For students who to study in the convenience of their Pilot Point homes, there are online accredited interior design schools. Attending classes online can be an excellent option for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For many students online colleges may be the only alternative if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Additional costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the college you enroll in is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the perfect option for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Designer Schools
Once you have selected the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of reviewing your college options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the college has to be within commuting distance from your Pilot Point residence. Naturally if you have decided on attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But choosing the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your house are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you need to look at also, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a few questions that you may want to ask the programs you are considering to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and subsequently pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It’s essential to verify that the interior design college and program that you enroll in has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive evaluation 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 organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are outstanding, it may also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Pilot Point employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, 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 some of those states calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required as well. So besides providing an excellent education, the school you choose should also furnish the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be employed.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will probably want some help in finding your first job in Pilot Point. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design trade and its students are sought after. It could also signify that the school has a significant network of business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the schools you are evaluating and ask what type of assistance they offer in 99649. Many of Alaska interior design programs provide financial aid to their incoming students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide support in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the colleges you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Pilot Point home, visit the school and monitor 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 experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior designer school you enroll in offers classes the fit your active 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 Pilot Point, verify that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Pick the Ideal Interior Designer Degree Program Pilot Point AKPicking the right interior design school is a crucial first step toward starting your career in this artistic and gratifying occupation. Finding a college where you will obtain your training and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a challenging task regardless of what field you have selected. As with any endeavor to acquire an advanced education, there are several points to think about before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. However it is still essential that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare programs so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer.