How to Select the Right Interior Designer School near Arizona City Arizona
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer school near Arizona City AZ, it's time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's imperative that you obtain the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's vital that you carry out the appropriate research so that you can evaluate and compare each school that you are considering prior to making your final decision. But where do you begin? A number of future students will begin their research by looking for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are important factors when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation should be considered as well. We will address those issues and other crucial questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But before we do, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class alternatives are available.
Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The key difference between the two is the level of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, working as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make living or work areas attractive as well as functional. On many projects they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Arizona City AZ may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any room of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers frequently concentrate predominantly 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 hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.
There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, including color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. They need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Arizona City AZ interior designers employ a wide range of skills that contribute to their final designs.
Interior Designer Training Programs
There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to obtain the training required to launch your new career in Arizona City AZ. Your choice will undoubtedly be influenced by your career objectives in addition to the money and time that you have to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in a number of states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum amount of training required to enter the field. They take about 2 years to finish and programs are available at many Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that provide more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical aspects of the business required to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These two year programs supply advanced training in design after acquiring the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives in specialty majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are largely 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 three to five years.
In order to work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be called for before a candidate can take the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Programs
For those who wish to study in the convenience of their Arizona City AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design colleges. Studying online can be a great 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 convenient for the student. For a number of students online programs may be the only option if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Additional expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated also. Just make certain that the program you enroll in is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the ideal alternative for you.
What to Ask Interior Design Schools
After you have chosen the interior design degree that you wish 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 commuting distance from your Arizona City AZ home. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will limit your options also. But picking the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you need to look at also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are looking at to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you compare and ultimately select the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's essential to verify that the interior designer college and program that you choose has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding assessment of their instructors and programs. Just verify 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 establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are excellent, it may also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Arizona City AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some 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 school. And in several of those States calling for licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required as well. So besides furnishing an excellent education, the Arizona City AZ school you choose should also furnish the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will probably want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the schools 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 indication that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It might also signify that the college has a substantial network of Arizona City AZ business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial aid offices for the Arizona City AZ colleges you are reviewing and ask what type of assistance they provide. Many of interior designer programs provide financial assistance to their new students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide help in acquiring federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Arizona City AZ programs you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Arizona City home, visit the college and monitor 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 credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior designer school you select offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Arizona City AZ, verify that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right Arizona City Interior Design College
Selecting the right interior design program is a crucial initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and rewarding profession. Searching for a college where you will receive your education and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a challenging job no matter what field you have selected. As with any undertaking to receive an advanced education, there are a number of things to think about before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, verify that the design college and program are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. However it is still imperative that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the right final selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Arizona City Arizona.