How to Pick the Best Interior Design Course near Chino Valley Arizona
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design degree program near Chino Valley 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 spaces, it's imperative that you obtain the appropriate training to put your talents to work. And since some states do require that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's very important that you perform the proper research so that you can assess and compare each program that you are looking at before you make your ultimate decision. But just where do you begin? A number of potential students will start their research by searching for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are relevant issues when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must 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 interested in later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class choices are offered.
Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Many people mistake interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The main difference between the two is the amount of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, 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 taught to make work or living spaces functional as well as attractive. On various occasions they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad areas that an interior designer in Chino Valley AZ may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. 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 Design. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers frequently concentrate primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms 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 several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, including color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. They need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui concepts, Chino Valley AZ interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final designs.
Interior Designer Training Programs
There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to get the training required to launch your new profession in Chino Valley AZ. Your choice will undoubtedly be driven by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, make certain to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in some states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum level of education required to enter the field. They take roughly two years to complete and programs are offered at numerous Arizona community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level positions 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 aspects of the business required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced design training after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives in specialized majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. 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 college or university level. The programs differ in length but are typically completed in three to five years.
In order to work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be needed before an applicant can take the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Programs
For individuals who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Chino Valley AZ homes, there are accredited online interior design colleges. Attending classes online can be a great solution 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 convenient for the student. For many students online schools may be the sole option if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Added costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated also. Just be sure that the program you select is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the perfect alternative for you.
What to Ask Interior Designer Schools
Once you have decided on the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of assessing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the school has to be within driving distance from your Chino Valley AZ residence. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will decrease your options also. But picking the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you should consider as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are considering to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and subsequently select the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's necessary to verify that the interior designer school and program that you select has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it may also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Chino Valley AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do mandate that interior designers become 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 school. And in some of those States calling for licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from providing an outstanding education, the Chino Valley AZ school you choose should also provide the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be working.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained 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 higher rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It might also indicate that the college has a significant network of Chino Valley AZ business connections where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial aid departments for the Chino Valley AZ schools you are looking at and find out what type of aid they offer. Many of interior designer colleges provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide help in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Chino Valley AZ colleges you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Chino Valley home, visit the campus and attend a few classes. While there speak with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior design program you select provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Chino Valley AZ, make certain that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Choose in the Right Chino Valley Interior Design Program
Choosing the ideal interior design program is a critical initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and rewarding profession. Searching for a school where you will receive your training and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a difficult task no matter what field you have chosen. As with any endeavor to acquire a higher education, there are many factors to think about before enrolling in 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. But it is still important that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design programs so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Chino Valley Arizona.