How to Pick the Right Interior Designer School near Valdez Alaska
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer school near Valdez AK, it’s time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial spaces, it’s important that you obtain the right 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 could need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it’s essential that you carry out the proper research so that you can evaluate and compare each program that you are considering prior to making your final selection. But exactly where do you start? A number of potential students will kick off their research by looking for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are key variables when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into account as well. We will address those issues and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But first, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class options are offered.
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Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration
Some people mistake interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The primary distinction between them is the amount of training required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, conducting business 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 attractive as well as functional. On some projects they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are two broad categories that an interior designer in Valdez AK may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any room of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with public or commercial areas, designers often focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over looks as the main concern.
There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, including lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui principles, Valdez AK interior designers implement a wide range of skills that contribute to their final creations.
Interior Designer Degrees
There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to receive the training needed to launch your new career in Valdez AK. Your choice will undoubtedly be driven by your career objectives as well as the money and time that you have to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, be sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in several states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum amount of training required to enter the profession. They take roughly 2 years to finish and programs are offered at numerous Alaska trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can usually obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that provide more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical aspects of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a college graduate 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 specialty majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are largely for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work as a professional and use the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be required before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.
Online Interior Design Colleges
For those who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their Valdez AK homes, there are online accredited interior design colleges. Attending classes online can be an excellent option for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For a number of students online schools may be the only alternative if no interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Additional costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated also. Just be sure that the program you select is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also obtain 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 structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the right alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Design Programs
Once you have selected the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of reviewing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the school needs to be within driving distance from your Valdez AK home. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will limit your options as well. But picking the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you need to look at as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a list of questions that you may want to address with the programs you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and ultimately choose the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It’s essential to confirm that the interior designer program and college that you choose has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive assessment of their instructors and programs. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are outstanding, it might also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Valdez AK employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required also. So in addition to furnishing an outstanding education, the Valdez AK college you select should also furnish the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for Alaska or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will no doubt need some support in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its students are sought after. It may also signify that the college has a significant network of Valdez AK business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial aid departments for the Valdez AK schools you are reviewing and ask what type of aid they provide. A number of interior design schools provide financial aid to their new students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide support in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Valdez AK colleges you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Valdez home, visit the campus and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior design college you choose offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Valdez AK, make certain that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Best Program For Interior Design Valdez AK
Selecting the right interior designer program is an important first step toward launching your career in this creative and gratifying profession. Finding a school where you will receive your education and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a daunting job regardless of what field you have decided on. As with any undertaking to attain an advanced education, there are many factors to consider before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the field. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Best Program For Interior Design and wanted more info on the topic Interior Design College. But it is still important that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Valdez AK.
Other Alaska Designer Locations
Valdez (/vælˈdiːz, vəlˈdɛz/; Alutiiq: Suacit) is a city in Valdez-Cordova Census Area in the U.S. state of Alaska. According to the 2010 US Census, the population of the city is 3,976, down from 4,036 in 2000. The city was named in 1790 after the Spanish Navy Minister Antonio Valdés y Fernández Bazán. A former Gold Rush town, it is located at the head of a fjord on the eastern side of Prince William Sound. The port did not flourish until after the road link to Fairbanks was constructed in 1899. It suffered catastrophic damage during the 1964 Alaska earthquake, and is located near the site of the disastrous 1989 Exxon Valdez oil tanker spill. Today it is one of the most important ports in Alaska, a commercial fishing port as well as a freight terminal.
The port of Valdez was named in 1790 by the Spanish explorer Salvador Fidalgo after the Spanish naval officer Antonio Valdés y Fernández Bazán. A scam to lure prospectors off the Klondike Gold Rush trail led to a town being developed there in 1898. Some steamship companies promoted the Valdez Glacier Trail as a better route for miners to reach the Klondike gold fields and discover new ones in the Copper River country of interior Alaska than that from Skagway. The prospectors who believed the promotion found that they had been deceived. The glacier trail was twice as long and steep as reported, and many men died attempting the crossing, in part by contracting scurvy during the long cold winter without adequate supplies. The town did not flourish until after the construction of the Richardson Highway in 1899, which connected Valdez and Fairbanks. With a new road and its ice-free port, Valdez became permanently established as the first overland supply route into the interior of Alaska. The highway was open in summer-only until 1950, when it was operated as a year-round route.
In 1907, a shootout between two rival railroad companies ended Valdez's hope of becoming the railroad link from tidewater to the Kennicott Copper Mine. The mine, located in the heart of the Wrangell-St.Elias Mountains, was one of the richest copper ore deposits on the continent. The exact location of the right-of-way dispute, in which one man was killed and several injured, is located at the southern entrance of Keystone Canyon on the Valdez side. A half-completed tunnel in the canyon marks the end of railroad days in Valdez. A rail line to Kennicott was later established from the coastal city of Cordova.