How to Enroll in the Best Interior Designer Program near Anthem Arizona
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Anthem AZ, it's time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's imperative that you receive the appropriate training to put your talents to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's vital that you perform the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each program that you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision. But exactly where do you start? Many potential students will start their research by searching for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are relevant issues when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into consideration also. We will cover those issues and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training options are offered.
Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The principal difference between the two is the level of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. However, doing business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make living or work areas attractive as well as functional. On some occasions they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are two general areas that an interior designer in Anthem AZ may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers normally concentrate primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For instance, 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 looks as the primary consideration.
There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, for example color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. They have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui concepts, Anthem AZ interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final creations.
Interior Design Degrees
There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to get the training needed to launch your new profession in Anthem AZ. Your choice will undoubtedly be motivated by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, be sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in a number of states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum level of training required to enter the profession. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are offered at numerous Arizona community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can normally obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that supply more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative facets of the trade needed 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 furnish advanced training in design after acquiring a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer choices in specialty majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are mostly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are typically completed in three to five years.
To work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be needed before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Programs
For students who to attend classes in the comfort of their Anthem AZ homes, there are accredited online interior design schools. Attending classes online can be an excellent solution for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For a number of students online schools may be the sole option if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Additional costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the dedication to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the ideal alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
When you have decided on the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of analyzing your school options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the school must be within driving distance from your Anthem AZ home. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will narrow down your options 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 decision. There are other things that you need to look at as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a few questions that you may want to address with the schools you are looking at to obtain those answers as well as others to help you examine and subsequently select the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's necessary to make sure that the interior design program and school that you enroll in has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. 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 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 outstanding, it might also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Anthem AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States requiring licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore besides providing an excellent education, the Anthem AZ school you choose should also provide the proper training to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be working.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It may also signify that the school has a large network of Anthem AZ business connections 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 Anthem AZ schools you are evaluating and ask what kind of aid they provide. A number of interior design programs provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in acquiring federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Anthem AZ programs you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Anthem home, go to the campus and sit in on a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior design program you enroll in offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Anthem AZ, make certain that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right Anthem Interior Design College
Picking the ideal interior design program is a crucial first step toward starting your career in this artistic and fulfilling occupation. Searching for a college where you will obtain your training and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a daunting job no matter what field you have decided on. As with any endeavor to receive a higher education, there are a number of points to think about before choosing a school, program, or course. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the business. However it is still imperative that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Anthem Arizona.