How to Pick the Best Interior Design College near Chinle Arizona
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design degree program near Chinle 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 imperative that you obtain the right training to put your skills 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 very important that you do the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each school that you are considering prior to making your final selection. But exactly where do you begin? A number of prospective students will launch their research by searching for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are key factors when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into account as well. We will address those topics and other crucial questions that you should be asking 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 choices are offered.
Interior Decoration vs Interior Design
Often people confuse interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The primary difference between them is the amount of training required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or living areas attractive as well as functional. On many occasions they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are two broad categories that an interior designer in Chinle AZ can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial areas, designers frequently focus predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over looks as the main consideration.
There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Chinle AZ interior designers implement a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
Interior Design Degree Programs
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to get the training needed to start your new career in Chinle AZ. Your selection will undoubtedly be influenced by your career objectives 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 certain to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in some states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum amount of training required to enter the profession. They take approximately 2 years to complete and programs are available at numerous Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can usually 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 cover the creative and technical components of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These two year programs supply advanced training in design after achieving a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialty majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are mainly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary in length but are typically completed in three to five years.
To work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be called for before an applicant can take the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Programs
For anyone wishing' to attend classes in the convenience of their Chinle AZ homes, there are accredited online interior design schools. Attending classes online can be a great solution for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For many students online programs may be the only alternative if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated also. Just make certain that the program you select is accredited by a respected accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the dedication to obtain your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the right alternative for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Design Schools
When you have decided on the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of evaluating your school options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the school must be within driving distance from your Chinle AZ residence. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will decrease your choices as well. But selecting the least expensive school or the one that is closest to home are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you should look at as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Following are a few concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are looking at to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you compare and subsequently choose the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's essential to verify that the interior design program and college that you enroll in has earned accreditation from 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 a demanding evaluation of their programs and teachers. Just make sure 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 establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are excellent, it might also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Chinle AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required also. So in addition to furnishing an excellent education, the Chinle AZ program you enroll in should also furnish the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be working.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will no doubt need some help in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It might also indicate that the college has a significant network of Chinle AZ business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Chinle AZ colleges you are looking at and find out what kind of support they provide. Many of interior design schools provide financial assistance to their new students. Various schools provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Chinle AZ colleges you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Chinle home, visit the campus and sit in on a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior designer school you enroll in provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Chinle AZ, confirm that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Enroll in the Right Chinle Interior Design College
Choosing the ideal interior designer college is an important initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and gratifying profession. Searching for a college where you will receive your training and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a challenging job regardless of what major you have decided on. As with any endeavor to attain an advanced education, there are several factors to think about before selecting a course, program or school. 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 analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with quality training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Chinle Arizona.