How to Select the Best Interior Designer Degree Program near Camp Verde Arizona
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design degree program near Camp Verde AZ, it's time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's essential that you get the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's crucial that you carry out the appropriate research so that you can analyze and compare each school that you are looking at prior to making your ultimate choice. But where do you start? Many potential students will start their research by searching for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are key variables when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation should be considered as well. We will address those issues and other important questions that you must ask 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 offered.
Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Often people confuse interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The key distinction between them is the amount of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, working as an interior designer requires a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or residential spaces attractive as well as functional. On various projects they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Camp Verde AZ can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently 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, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers often focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the main consideration.
There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. They have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui concepts, Camp Verde AZ interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final creations.
Interior Design Degree Options
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to obtain the training needed to begin your new career in Camp Verde AZ. Your selection will undoubtedly be driven by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in several states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum level of education needed to enter the field. They take about 2 years to finish and programs are offered at many Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can typically obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that supply more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative facets of the business required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These two year programs supply advanced training in design after acquiring the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer options in specialty majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. 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 wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are usually completed in three to five years.
To work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be called for before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Programs
For students who to attend classes in the comfort of their Camp Verde AZ homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Studying online can be a good alternative for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For many students online programs may be the sole alternative if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Added costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the college you choose is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency, 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 dedication to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the right alternative for you.
What to Ask Interior Design Colleges
When you have selected the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of reviewing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the school must be within commuting distance from your Camp Verde AZ home. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will narrow down your options as well. But picking the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you should consider also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a list of questions that you may want to address with the programs you are considering to get those answers in addition to others to help you examine and ultimately select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's essential to confirm that the interior design college and program that you choose has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just confirm that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Camp Verde AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do mandate 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 school. And in some of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore aside from providing an excellent education, the Camp Verde AZ college you select should also furnish the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It could also indicate that the college has a significant network of Camp Verde AZ business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial aid departments for the Camp Verde AZ schools you are reviewing and ask what type of assistance they offer. A number of interior design schools offer financial assistance to their new students. Various schools provide partial scholarships and others provide support in acquiring grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Camp Verde AZ programs you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Camp Verde home, visit the college and attend a couple of classes. While there talk with some 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, make certain that the interior designer program you select provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Camp Verde AZ, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Choose in the Best Camp Verde Interior Design Program
Picking the ideal interior designer college is an important first step toward launching your career in this creative and fulfilling profession. Searching for a school where you will obtain your training and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a difficult task regardless of what major you have decided on. As with any undertaking to attain a higher education, there are a number of points to think about before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, make sure that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the field. However it is still imperative that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design schools so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Camp Verde Arizona.