How to Enroll in the Best Interior Designer Program near Corona De Tucson Arizona
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design degree program near Corona De Tucson AZ, it's time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's important that you obtain the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's essential that you perform the proper research so that you can analyze and compare each school that you are looking at prior to making your final decision. But exactly where do you start? Some future students will kick off their research by searching for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are important variables when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into consideration as well. We will cover those topics and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But before we do, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class choices are available.
Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration
Many people confuse interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The main distinction between the two is the level of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a talent 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 as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or living spaces attractive as well as functional. On various projects they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Corona De Tucson AZ can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any room of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers often concentrate predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.
There are several areas of commercial and residential 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 create their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui principles, Corona De Tucson AZ interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
Interior Designer Training Programs
There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to get the training necessary to begin your new profession in Corona De Tucson AZ. Your decision will undoubtedly be motivated by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, be sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is required 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. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum level of education required to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to complete and programs are available at numerous Arizona community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that supply more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative components of the business required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced design training after achieving a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialty majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are primarily for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are generally completed in three to five years.
To work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be called for before a candidate can take the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Programs
For individuals who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Corona De Tucson AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design colleges. Attending classes online can be a great alternative for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For some students online colleges 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 commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the school you choose is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, 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 distance or online education. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the right option for you.
What to Ask Interior Design Schools
After you have selected the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of evaluating your college options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the campus needs to be within driving distance from your Corona De Tucson AZ home. Naturally if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But selecting the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other things that you should look at as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a list of questions that you may want to ask the programs you are looking at to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and subsequently choose the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the interior design college and program that you choose has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. 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 undergone a demanding assessment of their programs and teachers. Just verify that both the college and the degree program 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 might also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Corona De Tucson AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do mandate 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 school. And in some of those States mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required also. So aside from providing an excellent education, the Corona De Tucson AZ school you enroll in should also provide the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be working.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will no doubt need some assistance 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 an excellent indication that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It might also signify that the school has a large network of Corona De Tucson AZ business connections where they can place students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial aid offices for the Corona De Tucson AZ schools you are evaluating and ask what type of aid they offer. A number of interior design programs offer financial aid to their incoming students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships while others provide support in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Corona De Tucson AZ colleges you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Corona De Tucson home, visit the school and monitor 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 experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior designer school you choose offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Corona De Tucson AZ, make certain that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose in the Best Corona De Tucson Interior Design College
Picking the ideal interior designer program is a crucial first step toward launching your career in this artistic and gratifying profession. Searching for a school where you will obtain your training and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a daunting job no matter what major you have selected. As with any undertaking to receive a higher education, there are a number of points to consider before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, check that the design college and program are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. But it is still essential that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Corona De Tucson Arizona.