How to Pick the Right Interior Design Course near Big Park Arizona
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer school near Big Park AZ, it's time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's imperative that you obtain the right training to put your talents to work. And since some states do require that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it's crucial that you perform the appropriate research so that you can analyze and compare each program that you are reviewing before you make your final choice. But just where do you start? A number of potential students will begin their research by searching for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are relevant issues when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into consideration as well. We will discuss those topics and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But first, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training options are available.
Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design
Some people mistake interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The primary distinction between them is the level of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, working as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make living or work areas attractive as well as functional. On some occasions they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are two general areas that an interior designer in Big Park AZ can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers frequently focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.
There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, for example color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They must 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 principles, Big Park AZ interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
Interior Design Degree Options
There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to acquire the training needed to start your new career in Big Park AZ. Your decision will undoubtedly be driven by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, be sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in a number of states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum level of education required to enter the field. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are available at a number of Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can usually obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that supply more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative aspects of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced design training after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are largely for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are generally completed in 3 to 5 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 an applicant can take the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Programs
For students who to attend classes in the convenience of their Big Park AZ homes, there are accredited online interior design programs. Studying online can be a great option for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For some students online schools may be the only option if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Added expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated also. Just make sure that the school you pick is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also receive 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 confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the right alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Design Programs
Now that you have chosen the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of assessing your school options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the college has to be within driving distance from your Big Park AZ home. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But selecting the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you need to look at as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Following are a few concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and ultimately pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's necessary to make sure that the interior design college and program that you select has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. 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 gone through a rigorous evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just verify that both the degree program and the college 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 outstanding, it may also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Big Park AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do mandate that interior designers get 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 school. And in several of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore aside from furnishing an exceptional education, the Big Park AZ college you enroll in should also provide the proper training to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be working.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some support in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It could also signify that the college has a substantial network of Big Park AZ business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Big Park AZ colleges you are evaluating and ask what type of assistance they offer. A number of interior design colleges provide financial assistance to their new students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships and others provide help in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Big Park AZ programs you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Big Park home, go to the campus and monitor a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior designer college you choose provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Big Park AZ, 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, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose in the Best Big Park Interior Design Program
Choosing the ideal interior designer college is an important initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and fulfilling profession. Locating a college where you will receive your training and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult job regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to acquire an advanced education, there are a number of points to consider before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, make sure that the design college and program are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. However it is still important that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Big Park Arizona.