How to Pick an Interior Designer Program near Craig Alaska
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer school near Craig AK, it’s time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it’s essential that you receive the appropriate training to put your skills to work. And since some states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it’s crucial that you do 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 prospective students will kick off their research by searching for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are important variables when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation must be taken into account also. We will cover those issues and other crucial questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But first, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training choices are available.
Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Many people mistake interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The main difference between them is the amount of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator in Craig AK if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make living or work areas attractive as well as functional. On many projects they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad areas that an interior designer can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers in Craig AK typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any room of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public spaces, Craig AK designers often concentrate primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the main consideration.
There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design in Craig AK that a designer needs to learn, such as color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui principles, interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
Interior Designer Training Programs
There are four degree options available in interior design to acquire the training required to launch your new profession. Your selection will no doubt be motivated by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination 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 offered near Craig AK.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum level of education needed to enter the field. They take roughly 2 years to finish and programs are available at many Craig AK area trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level employment 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 aspects of the business required to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs provide advanced design training after achieving a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide options in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are primarily for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ 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 some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.
Online Interior Design Degree Programs
For those who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their homes, there are accredited online interior design schools. Studying online can be a good 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 home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For many students online colleges may be the only option if no Craig AK area interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Added expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated also. Just make certain that the program you choose is accredited by a respected accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the perfect alternative for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Schools
After you have chosen the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of evaluating your Craig AK area college options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the school has to be within commuting distance from your residence. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will limit your choices also. But selecting the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you need to consider also, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a few questions that you may want to ask the programs you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and ultimately pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It’s imperative to verify that the interior designer program and school that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a regional or national 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 rigorous evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it may also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Craig AK employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some states do require 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 program. And in some of those states requiring licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required as well. So besides providing an outstanding education, the Craig AK college you select should also provide the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be employed.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will no doubt need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out 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 field and its students are in demand. It may also signify that the college has a sizable network of Craig AK area business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the colleges you are looking at and ask what type of support they offer. A number of Craig AK area interior design colleges offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide help in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Craig AK schools you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your home, visit the college and sit in on a couple of classes. While there speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the Craig AK interior design college you select provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends, verify that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, confirm that is an option also. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Select the Best Interior Designer Certification Training near Craig AlaskaSelecting the right interior designer school is a crucial first step toward starting your career in this creative and fulfilling occupation. Finding a college where you will receive your training and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a challenging job no matter what major you have chosen. As with any undertaking to recieve an advanced education, there are a number of things to think about before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. But it is still important that you complete 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 schools 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.
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