How to Enroll in the Right Interior Design Degree Program near Eloy Arizona
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design college near Eloy AZ, it's time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's imperative that you get the proper training to put your skills to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's vital that you carry out the proper research in order to assess and compare each college that you are considering before you make your ultimate decision. But where do you begin? A number of prospective students will launch their research by searching for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are key factors when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation 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 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 vs Interior Decoration
Some people confuse interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The primary distinction between the two is the amount of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer requires formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or residential spaces attractive as well as functional. On various projects they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Eloy AZ may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers frequently focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.
There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. They must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui concepts, Eloy AZ interior designers employ a wide range of skills that contribute to their final designs.
Interior Designer Degree Options
There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to get the training required to launch your new profession in Eloy AZ. Your decision will undoubtedly be influenced by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make certain to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in several states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum level of training needed to enter the field. They take approximately two years to finish and programs are offered at a number of Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can usually 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 cover the creative and technical components of the business needed to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These two year programs supply advanced design training after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer choices in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are largely for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary in length but are generally completed in three to five years.
To work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be needed before a candidate can take the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Programs
For those who wish to study in the comfort of their Eloy AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design classes. Studying online can be a good alternative for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For a number of students online schools may be the only alternative if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower 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 school you pick is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the dedication to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the right alternative for you.
What to Ask Interior Designer Schools
After you have selected the interior design degree that you want 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 driving distance from your Eloy AZ residence. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will narrow down your options also. But selecting the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you need to consider as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a few questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are considering to get those answers as well as others to help you examine and ultimately pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's necessary to make sure that the interior designer college and program that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive assessment 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 confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are outstanding, it might also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Eloy AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prepare 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) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States calling for licensing, at least 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to providing an outstanding education, the Eloy AZ college you select should also provide the proper instruction 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? After you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its students are sought after. It could also indicate that the school has a significant network of Eloy AZ business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Eloy AZ schools you are reviewing and find out what type of support they offer. Many of interior designer programs offer financial aid to their incoming students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Eloy AZ programs you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Eloy home, visit the school and attend a couple of classes. While there talk with a few students and ask 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 Accommodate your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior designer college you choose provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Eloy AZ, make sure that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose in the Best Eloy Interior Design Program
Choosing the ideal interior designer school is an important first step toward starting your career in this artistic and rewarding profession. Searching for a college where you will receive your training and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a daunting task no matter what field you have selected. As with any undertaking to receive a higher education, there are a number of points to consider before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. However it is still imperative that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Eloy Arizona.