How to Enroll in the Right Interior Designer Program near Corona De Tucson Arizona
Once 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 commercial or residential interiors, it's imperative that you obtain the appropriate training to put your skills to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it's essential that you perform the appropriate research so that you can analyze and compare each program that you are reviewing before you make your final choice. But where do you begin? Some potential students will begin their research by looking for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are key factors when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation must be considered also. We will discuss those topics and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are looking at 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 choices are available.
Interior Decoration and Interior Design
Some people mistake interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The key difference between the two is the level of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make living or work areas functional as well as attractive. On many projects they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad areas that an interior designer in Corona De Tucson AZ may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any room of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers often concentrate primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal 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 banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over looks as the main concern.
There are numerous areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui principles, Corona De Tucson AZ interior designers employ a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
Interior Designer Training Programs
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to obtain the training required to launch your new profession in Corona De Tucson AZ. Your selection will undoubtedly be motivated by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt 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 required in a number of states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum amount of training required to enter the profession. They take roughly 2 years to finish and programs are offered at a number of Arizona community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can typically obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that furnish more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative aspects of the business required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced training in design after acquiring the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives in specialty majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are largely for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work professionally and adopt 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 field experience may be required before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Programs
For individuals who wish to study 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 busy 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 a number of students online colleges may be the only alternative if no interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the school you choose 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 distance or online learning. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the ideal alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Design Colleges
After you have selected the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of assessing your school options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the school has to be within commuting distance from your Corona De Tucson AZ home. Naturally 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 limit your options also. But choosing the cheapest school or the one that is closest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you should look at as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are looking at to obtain those answers as well as others to help you examine and subsequently select the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's imperative to confirm that the interior designer college and program that you enroll in has been accredited by either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding evaluation of their programs and teachers. Just make sure that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are outstanding, it may also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Corona De Tucson AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several 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 school. And in several of those States calling for licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required also. So aside from providing an outstanding education, the Corona De Tucson AZ school you choose should also provide the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy 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 support in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its students are sought after. It may also signify that the school has a sizable network of Corona De Tucson AZ business contacts 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 looking at and find out what type of support they offer. A number of interior design schools provide financial aid to their incoming students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide help in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Corona De Tucson AZ programs you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Corona De Tucson home, visit the college and monitor a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior design college you choose provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Corona De Tucson AZ, verify that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Corona De Tucson Interior Design Program
Selecting the right interior design school is a crucial initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and fulfilling occupation. Searching for a school where you will obtain your education and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a difficult task regardless of what field you have decided on. As with any undertaking to acquire an advanced education, there are many factors to think about before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. But it is still essential that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design schools so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Corona De Tucson Arizona.