How to Enroll in the Right Interior Design School near Corona De Tucson Arizona
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design degree program near Corona De Tucson AZ, it's time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's essential that you obtain the appropriate training to put your talents to work. And since some states do mandate 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 crucial that you perform the proper research in order to assess and compare each college that you are reviewing prior to making your final selection. But where do you begin? Many future students will kick off their research by searching for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are relevant factors when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into consideration also. We will discuss those topics and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But first, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class alternatives are available.
Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Many people mistake interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The main distinction between them is the level of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, doing business as an interior designer requires formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make living or work spaces functional as well as attractive. On some projects they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Corona De Tucson AZ may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers often focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.
There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, including lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui concepts, Corona De Tucson AZ interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
Interior Design Degrees
There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to receive the training needed to start your new profession in Corona De Tucson AZ. Your decision will no doubt be influenced by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in some states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum level of education required to enter the field. They take approximately 2 years to finish and programs are offered at a number of Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can typically obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that deliver more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical components of the trade 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 two year programs furnish advanced training in design after achieving the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide alternatives in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to improve 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 university or college level. The programs differ in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required before a candidate can take the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Programs
For individuals who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their Corona De Tucson AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design classes. Studying online can be a great option for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For some students online colleges may be the sole option if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Additional expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated also. Just be sure that the school you enroll in is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges 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 structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the perfect alternative for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
Once you have chosen the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of evaluating your school options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the college needs to be within commuting distance from your Corona De Tucson AZ residence. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will decrease your options also. But choosing the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you need to look at also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are looking at to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and subsequently pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's necessary to confirm that the interior design college and program that you enroll in has been accredited by either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry 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 instructors. 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 confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it might also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Corona De Tucson AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States calling for licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required also. So in addition to providing an outstanding education, the Corona De Tucson AZ program you select should also provide the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will no doubt need some help in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It could also indicate that the school has a significant network of Corona De Tucson AZ business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Available? Contact the financial aid departments for the Corona De Tucson AZ colleges you are reviewing and ask what type of support they provide. A number of interior design schools provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide support in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Corona De Tucson AZ programs you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Corona De Tucson home, go to the campus and monitor a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior designer school you choose offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Corona De Tucson AZ, verify that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Choose in the Right Corona De Tucson Interior Design Program
Selecting the right interior designer school is an important first step toward starting your career in this creative and fulfilling occupation. Finding a school where you will obtain your education and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a challenging job regardless of what major you have decided on. As with any undertaking to acquire a higher education, there are several factors to think about before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, verify that the design college and program are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. However it is still essential that you carry out your due diligence research. 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 schools so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with quality training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Corona De Tucson Arizona.