How to Choose the Right Interior Designer Program near Corona De Tucson Arizona
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer school near Corona De Tucson AZ, it's time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's imperative that you obtain the appropriate training to put your talents to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's essential that you do the appropriate research so that you can evaluate and compare each program that you are reviewing prior to making your final selection. But where do you begin? Some potential students will begin their research by looking for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are relevant variables when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into consideration as well. We will address those issues and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training choices are available.
Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design
Some people confuse interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The main distinction between them is the level of education required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, conducting business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or living spaces functional as well as attractive. On some occasions they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad areas that an interior designer in Corona De Tucson AZ can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any room of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers normally concentrate predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may focus more on functionality over looks as the main concern.
There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Corona De Tucson AZ interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
Interior Designer Degree Options
There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to obtain the training necessary to launch your new profession in Corona De Tucson AZ. Your choice will no doubt be influenced by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, make certain to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated 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 accreditation benefits 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 field. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are offered at many Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that provide more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative components of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced design training after achieving a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are largely for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are usually 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, two or more years of field 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 convenience of their Corona De Tucson AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design programs. Studying online can be an excellent solution for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when convenient 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 additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Added expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the school you select is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the ideal alternative for you.
What to Ask Interior Design Colleges
Once you have decided on the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of evaluating your college options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the school has to be within commuting distance from your Corona De Tucson AZ home. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will limit your options as well. But choosing the cheapest college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you need to look at also, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are looking at to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and subsequently select the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's necessary to confirm that the interior designer school and program that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding assessment of their programs and teachers. Just confirm that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Corona De Tucson AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some 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, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required also. So in addition to furnishing an excellent education, the Corona De Tucson AZ program you select should also furnish the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill 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 received your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some support in finding your first position. Ask the colleges 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 indication that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It might also indicate that the school has a sizable network of Corona De Tucson AZ business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Corona De Tucson AZ schools you are looking at and ask what type of assistance they provide. Many of interior design programs provide financial assistance to their new students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in obtaining grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Corona De Tucson AZ programs you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Corona De Tucson home, visit the college and monitor a few classes. While there talk with a few students and find out 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 Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior designer program you choose provides classes the fit your hectic 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 Corona De Tucson AZ, make certain that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right Corona De Tucson Interior Design School
Choosing the right interior designer college is a crucial initial step toward launching your career in this creative and gratifying occupation. Finding a school where you will obtain your training and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a daunting job regardless of what major you have decided on. As with any undertaking to attain a higher education, there are many factors to consider before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. But it is still essential that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Corona De Tucson Arizona.