How to Choose the Best Interior Designer Program near Bisbee Arizona
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer college near Bisbee AZ, it's time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's essential that you obtain the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's vital that you perform the proper research in order to assess and compare each college that you are reviewing before you make your final decision. But just where do you start? A number of potential students will start their research by searching for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are important factors when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation should be considered as well. We will cover those issues and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But first, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class options are available.
Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Some people mistake interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The main difference between them is the amount of education required. Any person can work 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 many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make living or work areas functional as well as attractive. On some projects they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are two general areas that an interior designer in Bisbee AZ may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers normally concentrate primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. As an example, 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 appearance as the main concern.
There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, for example color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui concepts, Bisbee AZ interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
Interior Designer Degrees
There are four degree options available in interior design to get the training necessary to launch your new profession in Bisbee AZ. Your selection will no doubt be motivated by your career objectives in addition to the money and time that you have to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, be sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in some states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum amount of education needed to enter the profession. They take approximately 2 years to finish and programs are available at a number of Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that provide more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical facets of the business required to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced design training after acquiring the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialized majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are primarily for those professionals who want 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 use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be needed before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Programs
For anyone wishing' to attend classes in the comfort of their Bisbee AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design classes. Attending classes online can be a great option for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For some students online schools may be the sole alternative if no interior design schools are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Added expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated also. Just make sure that the program you select is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the perfect option for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Design Schools
After you have chosen the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of reviewing your school options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the school has to be within commuting distance from your Bisbee AZ home. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will limit your choices also. But choosing the cheapest school or the one that is closest to home are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you need to consider also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Following are a few concerns that you may want to address with the colleges you are considering to get those answers in addition to others to help you assess and subsequently pick the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's essential to verify that the interior design program and college that you choose has been accredited by either a national or regional 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 demanding evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just confirm 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 establish that the reputation of the college 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 available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Bisbee AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the School Prepare 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) exam as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required also. Therefore in addition to furnishing an excellent education, the Bisbee AZ college you enroll in should also provide the proper education to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will probably want some help in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It might also indicate that the school has a substantial network of Bisbee AZ business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Bisbee AZ colleges you are evaluating and find out what type of support they offer. Many of interior design schools offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships while others provide help in securing grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Bisbee AZ schools you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Bisbee home, go to the campus and monitor a couple of classes. While there talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior design school you select provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Bisbee AZ, make certain that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.
Choose in the Right Bisbee Interior Design Program
Picking the right interior design school is a crucial initial step toward launching your career in this creative and fulfilling occupation. Locating a college where you will obtain your education and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a daunting task regardless of what field you have chosen. As with any endeavor to receive a higher education, there are a number of points to consider before selecting 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 important that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate 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 reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Bisbee Arizona.