How to Enroll in the Right Interior Designer Degree Program near Camp Verde Arizona
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer school 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 spaces, it's essential that you get the appropriate training to put your skills to work. And since some states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it's essential that you perform the proper research so that you can evaluate and compare each college that you are looking at before you make your final decision. But just where do you start? Some prospective students will launch their research by searching for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are relevant factors when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into consideration also. We will discuss those issues and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are interested in 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 alternatives are offered.
Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Often people confuse interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The principal distinction between them is the level of education required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or living areas attractive as well as functional. On various projects they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Camp Verde AZ can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any area of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public areas, designers often focus predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the main consideration.
There are numerous areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, for example lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui principles, Camp Verde AZ interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final designs.
Interior Designer Degrees
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to get the training required to launch your new profession in Camp Verde AZ. Your choice will undoubtedly be motivated by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, make certain to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in a number of states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum amount of training required to enter the field. They take approximately two years to complete and programs are available at a number of Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that supply more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative aspects of the business required to become a designer. They are the minimum degree 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 design training after acquiring the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialty majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are largely for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, 2 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 comfort of their Camp Verde AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design degrees. Studying online can be a good alternative for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For some students online schools may be the only alternative if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Additional expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the school 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 online or distance education. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the right alternative for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
Now that you have chosen the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of assessing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the college has to be within driving distance from your Camp Verde AZ home. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will narrow down your choices also. But selecting the cheapest school or the one that is closest to home are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you should consider as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a list of questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are considering to get those answers in addition to others to help you assess and subsequently select the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's necessary to confirm that the interior design program and school that you choose has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive assessment of their teachers and programs. Just make sure 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 training are exceptional, it might also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Camp Verde AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the School Prep 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 college. And in some of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required as well. So in addition to furnishing an exceptional education, the Camp Verde AZ program you choose should also provide the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will probably need some support in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design trade and its students are sought after. It might also indicate that the school has a large network of Camp Verde AZ business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Camp Verde AZ colleges you are reviewing and ask what kind of support they provide. A number of interior design programs offer financial aid to their new students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide support in obtaining federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Large 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. Find out from the Camp Verde AZ schools you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Camp Verde home, go to the campus and attend a few classes. While there speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior design school you choose provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Camp Verde AZ, verify that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Enroll in the Right Camp Verde Interior Design College
Selecting the right interior designer program is a critical initial step toward launching your career in this creative and rewarding profession. Locating a school where you will obtain your training and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a challenging job regardless of what major you have selected. As with any undertaking to attain a higher education, there are many factors to consider before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. But it is still imperative that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Camp Verde Arizona.