How to Select the Right Interior Design Degree Program near Camp Verde Arizona
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer college near Camp Verde 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 interiors, it's essential that you get the appropriate training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it's crucial that you carry out the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each program that you are considering before you make your ultimate choice. But where do you start? Some potential students will start their research by searching for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are relevant variables when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into account also. We will address those issues and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training choices are offered.
Interior Decoration and Interior Design
Many people mistake interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The principal difference between them is the amount of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, conducting business as an interior designer requires formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or residential areas attractive as well as functional. On various projects they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are two broad categories that an interior designer in Camp Verde AZ can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
- 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 reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the main concern.
There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, such as color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. They need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Camp Verde AZ interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
Interior Design Training Programs
There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to receive the training necessary to start your new career in Camp Verde AZ. Your decision will undoubtedly be driven by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in some states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum amount of training needed to enter the profession. They take about two years to complete and programs are offered at a number of Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative components of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced training in design after achieving a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide alternatives in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mainly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are usually 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 several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be needed before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Programs
For anyone wishing' to attend classes in the convenience of their Camp Verde AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design classes. Studying online can be a great alternative for those students that are working 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 many students online programs may be the only option if no interior design schools are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Additional expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the school you select 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 education. If you have the discipline to obtain your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the perfect alternative for you.
What to Ask Interior Designer Programs
Once you have selected the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of assessing your college options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your Camp Verde AZ residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will decrease your choices as well. But picking the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you should look at as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a few questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and subsequently select the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the interior design program and school that you enroll in has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive 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 organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are excellent, it might also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Camp Verde AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore aside from providing an exceptional education, the Camp Verde AZ school you select should also furnish the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be working.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some help in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It could also signify that the college has a significant network of Camp Verde AZ business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Camp Verde AZ colleges you are reviewing and ask what kind of support they provide. A number of interior design schools provide financial assistance to their new students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide help in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited school is imperative 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 Small are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Camp Verde AZ colleges you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Camp Verde home, visit the college and monitor a couple of classes. While there talk with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior designer college you select offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Camp Verde AZ, make sure that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Choose in the Right Camp Verde Interior Design Program
Choosing the right interior designer program is a crucial initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and gratifying profession. Finding a school where you will receive your education and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a daunting task no matter what major you have chosen. As with any undertaking to attain a higher education, there are a number of points to think about before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. However it is still essential that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Camp Verde Arizona.