How to Enroll in the Best Interior Designer College near Chinle Arizona
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design school near Chinle AZ, it's time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's essential that you receive the proper training to put your talents to work. And since several states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's very important that you carry out the appropriate research in order to evaluate and compare each college that you are reviewing prior to making your final selection. But just where do you begin? Some prospective students will kick off their research by searching for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are important issues when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation need to be considered as well. We will address those topics and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But before we do, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training choices are offered.
Interior Decoration and Interior Design
Often people mistake interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The key difference between the two is the amount of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, working as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or living areas functional as well as attractive. On various occasions they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Chinle AZ can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any room of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers normally concentrate primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. As an example, 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 primary consideration.
There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, including lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui principles, Chinle AZ interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final designs.
Interior Design Degrees
There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to acquire the training necessary to begin your new career in Chinle AZ. Your decision will undoubtedly be motivated by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in some states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum amount of education required to enter the field. They take approximately 2 years to finish and programs are available at many Arizona community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can typically qualify for 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 creative and technical facets of the business required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These two year programs supply advanced training in design after acquiring a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer choices in specialty majors for such things 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 want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are generally completed in three to five years.
To work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be required before a candidate can take the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Programs
For students who to attend classes in the convenience of their Chinle AZ homes, there are accredited online interior design schools. Attending classes online can be a good alternative for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For many students online programs may be the only option if no interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Additional costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the program you enroll in is accredited by a recognized 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 online or distance education. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the perfect alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Design Colleges
Once you have chosen the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of assessing your school options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the school has to be within driving distance from your Chinle AZ home. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will limit your options as well. But choosing the most affordable college or the one that is closest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you need to consider also, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a few concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are looking at to get those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and subsequently select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's important to verify that the interior design program and school that you select has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. 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 applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Chinle AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, 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 as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore besides furnishing an exceptional education, the Chinle AZ college you select should also provide the proper training to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It might also indicate that the college has a large network of Chinle AZ business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Chinle AZ colleges you are looking at and ask what kind of assistance they offer. Many of interior design colleges provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide support in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Chinle AZ programs you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Chinle home, go to the campus and attend a couple of classes. While there talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior designer school you select provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Chinle AZ, make sure that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose in the Right Chinle Interior Design College
Selecting the right interior designer program is a critical first step toward starting your career in this creative and gratifying profession. Locating a college where you will receive your education and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a difficult job no matter what major you have decided on. As with any endeavor to acquire an advanced education, there are a number of points to consider before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. But it is still important that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively 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 accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Chinle Arizona.