How to Find the Best Interior Designer Course near Big Park Arizona
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design degree program near Big Park AZ, it's time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's important that you get the appropriate training to put your skills to work. And since several 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 essential that you perform the proper research so that you can evaluate and compare each school that you are looking at prior to making your final decision. But where do you start? Many potential students will launch their research by looking for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are key factors when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into consideration as well. We will cover those topics and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But before we do, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training choices are available.
Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration
Often people confuse interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The main difference between the two is the amount of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, doing business as an interior designer requires formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or residential spaces attractive as well as functional. On some occasions they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are two general areas that an interior designer in Big Park AZ can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically 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 often focus predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may 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, such as color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. They need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui concepts, Big Park AZ interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final creations.
Interior Design Degree Programs
There are four degree options available in interior design to get the training required to begin your new profession in Big Park AZ. Your decision will no doubt be motivated by your career goals 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, be sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in some states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum amount of education needed to enter the field. They take approximately two years to complete and programs are available at numerous Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level employment 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 aspects of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced design training after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives in specialized majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are mostly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are generally completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be needed before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Programs
For students who to study in the convenience of their Big Park AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design programs. Studying online can be an excellent alternative for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For a number of students online schools may be the sole alternative 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 as well. Just make certain that the program you enroll in is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also acquire 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 environment, then an online interior design school may be the ideal alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Design Programs
Once you have decided on the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of assessing your college options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the campus needs to be within commuting distance from your Big Park AZ residence. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will narrow down your options also. But selecting the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to home are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you need to look at also, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a list of questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are considering to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and ultimately select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's essential to verify that the interior designer program and college that you enroll in 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). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive evaluation 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Big Park AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States mandating licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required as well. So in addition to furnishing an exceptional education, the Big Park AZ school you choose should also furnish the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be working.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some help in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It may also signify that the school has a large network of Big Park AZ business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Big Park AZ colleges you are evaluating and find out what kind of assistance they offer. A number of interior design colleges provide financial aid to their incoming students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide support in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Big Park AZ colleges you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Big Park home, go to the college and monitor a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few 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 Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior designer college you select offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Big Park AZ, verify that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option also. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Big Park Interior Design Program
Choosing the right interior design school is a critical first step toward starting your career in this creative and fulfilling occupation. Locating a school where you will obtain your training and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a difficult task regardless of what field you have selected. As with any undertaking to attain an advanced education, there are a number of things to consider before choosing a school, program, or course. At a minimum, verify that the design college and program are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. However it is still important that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Big Park Arizona.