How to Choose the Right Interior Designer Program near Doney Park Arizona
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Doney Park AZ, it's time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's imperative that you obtain the appropriate training to put your talents to work. And since some states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's crucial that you carry out the proper research in order to evaluate and compare each college that you are considering before you make your final decision. But exactly where do you begin? A number of future students will begin their research by looking for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are important variables when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation need to be considered as well. We will address those topics and other crucial questions that you must ask 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 class options are offered.
Interior Decoration vs Interior Design
Often people confuse interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The key distinction between them is the level of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. However, working as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make living or work spaces functional as well as attractive. On various projects they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Doney Park AZ may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area 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 working on public or commercial spaces, designers normally focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may focus more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.
There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, such as lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui concepts, Doney Park AZ interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that help bring about their final creations.
Interior Design Degree Options
There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to receive the training necessary to launch your new career in Doney Park AZ. Your selection will no doubt be influenced by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to choose 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 accreditation benefits later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum amount of education required to enter the profession. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are offered at a number of Arizona community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that provide more comprehensive 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 credential needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced training in design after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are mainly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are normally completed in three to five years.
In order to work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be required before an applicant can take the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Programs
For individuals who wish to study in the comfort of their Doney Park AZ homes, there are accredited online interior design degrees. Attending classes online can be a good solution for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For some students online programs may be the sole option if no interior design schools are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Additional costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the program you enroll in is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the perfect alternative 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 analyzing your school options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the school must be within commuting distance from your Doney Park AZ home. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will decrease your options also. But choosing the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you need to look at also, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a few questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others to help you compare and ultimately select the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's imperative to confirm that the interior design program and school that you select has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are outstanding, it might also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Doney Park AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would require 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, at least 2 years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from providing an exceptional education, the Doney Park AZ program you select should also provide the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be working.
What is the Program'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 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 higher rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It may also indicate that the school has a substantial network of Doney Park AZ business connections where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Doney Park AZ colleges you are looking at and ask what kind of assistance they provide. A number of interior design schools offer financial assistance to their new students. Various schools offer partial scholarships and others provide support in obtaining grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Doney Park AZ colleges you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Doney Park home, go to the campus and sit in on a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior design college you choose provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Doney Park AZ, make certain that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Enroll in the Right Doney Park Interior Design School
Picking the ideal interior designer program is a crucial initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and rewarding profession. Searching for a college where you will obtain your education and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a daunting job no matter what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to attain an advanced education, there are a number of things to think about before choosing a school, program, or course. At a minimum, verify that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the field. However it is still imperative that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the right final selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Doney Park Arizona.