How to Choose the Right Interior Design Program near Corona De Tucson Arizona
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design degree program near Corona De Tucson AZ, it's time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's imperative that you obtain the appropriate training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it's essential that you do the proper research so that you can analyze and compare each college that you are considering prior to making your final choice. But just where do you begin? Some future students will launch their research by searching for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are important issues when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation need to be taken into account as well. We will discuss those topics and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are interested in 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 options are offered.
Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Often people mistake interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The primary distinction 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. However, working as an interior designer requires formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make living or work areas functional as well as attractive. On some projects they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Corona De Tucson AZ can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any room of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers normally focus primarily 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 focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the primary concern.
There are numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui principles, Corona De Tucson AZ interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
Interior Design Degrees
There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to acquire the training necessary to begin your new profession in Corona De Tucson AZ. Your choice will undoubtedly be influenced by your career objectives in addition to the money and time that you have to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in several states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum level of education needed to enter the profession. They take approximately two years to finish and programs are offered at numerous Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that deliver more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative components of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These two year programs supply advanced training in design after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide alternatives in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are mainly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be called for before an applicant can take the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Programs
For those who wish to study in the comfort of their Corona De Tucson AZ homes, there are accredited online interior design colleges. Attending classes online can be a great option for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For many students online programs may be the sole option if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Additional costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the program you choose is accredited by a highly regarded 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 confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
When you have selected the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of reviewing your college options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the campus must be within commuting distance from your Corona De Tucson 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 fee for tuition will limit your choices as well. But selecting the cheapest school or the one that is closest to home are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you need to look at as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a list of questions that you may want to address with the programs you are reviewing to get those answers in addition to others to help you assess and subsequently select the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's important to verify that the interior designer school and program that you choose has earned accreditation from 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 obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are excellent, it may also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Corona De Tucson AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required also. So besides furnishing an excellent education, the Corona De Tucson AZ school you choose should also furnish the proper education to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some support in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It may also indicate that the college has a large network of Corona De Tucson AZ business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Corona De Tucson AZ colleges you are reviewing and ask what kind of support they offer. A number of interior designer programs provide financial assistance to their new students. Some schools offer partial scholarships and others provide help in securing grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Corona De Tucson AZ programs you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Corona De Tucson home, visit the campus and monitor a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some students and find out 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, verify that the interior designer school you enroll in provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Corona De Tucson AZ, verify that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option also. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Corona De Tucson Interior Design College
Choosing the right interior designer program is a crucial first step toward launching your career in this artistic and gratifying profession. Finding a school where you will receive your training and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a challenging task no matter what major you have chosen. As with any undertaking to acquire an advanced education, there are many things to think about before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, verify that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. However it is still essential that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design schools so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Corona De Tucson Arizona.