How to Select an Interior Designer Course near North Pole Alaska
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design college near North Pole 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 spaces, it’s essential that you receive the appropriate training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it’s essential that you do the proper research so that you can analyze and compare each school that you are reviewing prior to making your final selection. But where do you begin? Many prospective students will start their research by searching for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are relevant factors when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into account as well. We will discuss those issues and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are researching 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 Design compared to Interior Decoration
Some people mistake interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The key distinction between the two is the amount of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, working as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or living spaces functional as well as attractive. On various projects they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in North Pole AK can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public areas, designers normally focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may focus more on functionality over looks as the main consideration.
There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, such as 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, North Pole AK interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final designs.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to obtain the training needed to start your new profession in North Pole AK. Your choice will undoubtedly be motivated by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, make certain to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in several states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum amount of training required to enter the field. They take roughly two years to complete and programs are offered at a number of Alaska vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that supply more in depth 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 secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs provide advanced design training after acquiring the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide alternatives in specialized majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are largely for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work professionally and use the title of “Interior Designer”, many states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be needed before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.
Interior Designer Online Schools
For anyone wishing’ to attend classes in the convenience of their North Pole AK homes, there are accredited online interior design colleges. Studying online can be a good solution for those students that are employed 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 convenient for the student. For many students online programs may be the only alternative if no interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated also. Just be sure that the school you choose is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, 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 earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the right alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Designer Schools
Once you have chosen 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, especially if the school needs to be within driving distance from your North Pole AK home. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will decrease your options as well. But selecting the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you should consider as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a few concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and subsequently pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It’s necessary to verify that the interior design college and program that you choose has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous assessment of their programs and teachers. 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 education are outstanding, it may also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of North Pole AK employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States requiring licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. So aside from furnishing an excellent education, the North Pole AK college you choose should also provide the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the State where you will be working.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will no doubt need some support in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It might also signify that the college has a large network of North Pole AK 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 offices for the North Pole AK colleges you are evaluating and find out what type of aid they offer. Many of interior design programs provide financial assistance to their new students. Some schools provide partial scholarships and others provide help in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the North Pole AK schools you are reviewing what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your North Pole home, go to the college and sit in on 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 philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior design program you enroll in offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near North Pole AK, confirm that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Considering Attending Interior Design School in North Pole AK?
North Pole, Alaska
North Pole is a small city in the Fairbanks North Star Borough, Alaska, United States. It is part of the Fairbanks, Alaska metropolitan statistical area. As of the 2016 United States Census, the city had a population of 2,232, up from 1,570 in 2000.
The name "North Pole" is often applied to the entire area covered by its zip code, 99705. This area stretches between Fort Wainwright and Eielson Air Force Base, and between the Chena River and the Tanana River, including subdivisions off of Badger Road, a loop road connecting the eastern edge of Fairbanks city limits with North Pole city limits, and in the nearby census-designated place of Moose Creek. Despite the name, the city is about 1,700 miles (2,700 km) south of Earth's geographic North Pole and 125 miles (200 km) south of the Arctic Circle.
The city is a summertime attraction for tourists visiting nearby Fairbanks and, due to its location on the Richardson Highway, those traveling to and from the Alaska Highway and Valdez. North Pole was home to two oil refineries, the town's major industry aside from tourism, but closed because of sulofane contamination in ground water. The larger refinery, operated by Flint Hills Resources, was a major source of jet fuel for Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. Tanker car traffic on the Alaska Railroad, entering and leaving the refinery, frequently bisects the city.
Enroll in the Best Interior Design School near North Pole AK
Picking the ideal interior designer school is a crucial initial step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding occupation. Finding 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 undertaking to acquire an advanced education, there are several points to consider before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, verify that the design college and program are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. But it is still essential that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare schools so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in North Pole AK.
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