How to Enroll in the Best Interior Designer Degree Program near Bisbee Arizona
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design school near Bisbee AZ, it's time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's imperative that you get the proper training to put your skills to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's essential that you perform the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each program that you are considering before you make your ultimate decision. But where do you start? Many potential students will start their research by looking for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are important variables when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation must be considered also. We will discuss those topics and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at 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 options are available.
Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Often people mistake interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The principal difference between the two is the level of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or living spaces functional as well as attractive. On various projects they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Bisbee AZ can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any area of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers normally focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.
There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Bisbee AZ interior designers employ a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
Interior Designer Degree Options
There are four degree options available in interior design to obtain the training required to start your new career in Bisbee AZ. Your selection will no doubt be influenced 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 opt to enroll in, make certain to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in some states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum level of education required to enter the profession. They take roughly 2 years to finish and programs are offered at numerous Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical aspects of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest 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 achieving a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide alternatives in specialty majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are mostly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree 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 schools become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be needed before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Programs
For individuals who wish to study in the comfort of their Bisbee AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design degrees. Attending classes online can be a great alternative for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For some students online schools may be the only alternative if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Added costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated also. Just make sure that the school you pick is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools 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 structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Designer Schools
After you have chosen the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of assessing your college options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the campus has to be within driving distance from your Bisbee AZ home. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will narrow down your options as well. But selecting the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to your house are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you need to look at also, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a few concerns that you may want to address with the colleges you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others to help you assess and ultimately select the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's necessary to make sure that the interior designer college and program that you enroll in has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive assessment of their programs and instructors. Just confirm 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 establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are outstanding, it might also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Bisbee AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, 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 as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States calling for licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore aside from providing an excellent education, the Bisbee AZ college you enroll in should also provide the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet 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 obtained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some help in finding your first job. Ask the programs 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 a good indication that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It might also signify that the college has a significant network of Bisbee AZ business connections where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Bisbee AZ schools you are looking at and find out what kind of support they offer. Many of interior design programs provide financial aid to their new students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide support in securing grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Bisbee AZ colleges you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Bisbee home, go to the college and monitor a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few 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 Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior designer program you choose provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Bisbee AZ, verify that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Choose in the Best Bisbee Interior Design College
Selecting the ideal interior design school is an important initial step toward launching your career in this creative and gratifying occupation. Locating a school where you will receive 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 endeavor to receive an advanced education, there are many factors to consider before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the business. But it is still important that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design programs so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Bisbee Arizona.