How to Select an Interior Designer Program Two Rivers 99716
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer college near Two Rivers AK, it’s time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial interiors, it’s imperative that you obtain the proper training to put your skills to work. And since several states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it’s essential that you carry out the proper research in order to analyze and compare each college that you are reviewing prior to making your final decision. But just where do you start? Many potential students will begin their research by looking for schools near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are key variables when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into account also. We will discuss those issues 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 cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are offered.
Interior Decoration and Interior Design
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 Two Rivers AK as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. However, working as an interior designer requires a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or living spaces functional as well as attractive. On various occasions they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are two general areas that an interior designer can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes in Alaska. They can design basically any room of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers normally concentrate predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.
There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a Two Rivers designer must learn, including color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui concepts, interior designers employ a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
Interior Designer Training Programs
There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to obtain the training needed to begin your new career. Your selection will undoubtedly be driven by your career objectives in Two Rivers as well as the money and time that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make certain to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in a number of states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum level of education required to enter the field. They take roughly two years to complete and programs are offered at many trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can usually obtain entry level jobs in Two Rivers as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that supply more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative components of the business required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position in Alaska as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced training in design after attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer choices in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mainly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are usually 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 professional experience may be called for before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Designer Online Schools
For students who to attend classes in the comfort of their Two Rivers homes, there are accredited online interior design programs. Attending classes online can be a great alternative 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 colleges may be the sole option if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Additional costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the program you enroll in is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the discipline to obtain your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the ideal alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
After you have selected the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of assessing your college options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the campus must be within commuting distance from your Two Rivers home. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will decrease your choices as well. But picking the most affordable school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you need to look at also, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a few concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are looking at to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you assess and ultimately choose the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It’s essential to verify that the interior design program and college that you enroll in has been accredited by either a national or regional 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 undergone a rigorous 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are excellent, it might also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Two Rivers 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 get 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 program. And in some of those states mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore besides providing an exceptional education, the school you select should also furnish the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with 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 no doubt need some assistance in finding your first job in Two Rivers. Ask the schools 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 an excellent sign that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It might also indicate that the school has a sizable network of business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Contact the financial aid offices for the colleges you are evaluating and find out what kind of assistance they provide in 99716. Many of Alaska interior design programs provide financial aid to their incoming students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the schools you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Two Rivers home, visit the campus and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior design school you choose offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Two Rivers, verify that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Pick the Ideal Interior Design Program Two Rivers AKPicking the ideal interior designer school is an important first step toward launching your career in this creative and fulfilling profession. Searching for a school where you will obtain your training and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a difficult task regardless of what field you have selected. As with any undertaking to acquire a higher education, there are many points to think about before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. However it is still imperative that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare colleges so that you can make the right final selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer.