How to Enroll in the Right Interior Design Degree Program near Eloy Arizona
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer school near Eloy AZ, it's time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's important that you receive the appropriate training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it's crucial that you carry out the appropriate research in order to analyze and compare each college that you are reviewing before you make your final choice. But just where do you begin? Some potential students will begin their research by looking for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are key variables when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation should be considered also. We will address those topics and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But before we do, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class options are offered.
Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration
Many people confuse interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The key difference between them is the level of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. However, working as an interior designer requires a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or living 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 Eloy AZ can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any area of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers normally focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.
There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example 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 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 four degree options offered in interior design to receive the training required to start your new career in Eloy AZ. Your choice will no doubt be motivated by your career objectives in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to devote to 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 mandated in some states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum level of education needed to enter the profession. They take approximately 2 years to finish and programs are offered at numerous Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that provide more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical facets of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These two year programs provide advanced design training after attaining 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 enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are primarily for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be needed before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Programs
For individuals who wish to study in the convenience of their Eloy AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design classes. Studying online can be a good solution for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make attending 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 programs 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 decreased or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the program you pick is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the discipline to obtain your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the perfect option for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Design Schools
Once you have selected the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of analyzing your school options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the school needs to be within driving distance from your Eloy AZ home. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will limit your options as well. But choosing the least expensive college or the one that is closest to home are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you need to consider as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a few questions that you may want to address with the programs you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others to help you assess and subsequently select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's imperative to make sure that the interior design program and school that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college 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 excellent, it may also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Eloy AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do mandate that interior designers get 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 program. And in some of those States mandating licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required also. So besides providing an excellent education, the Eloy AZ program you enroll in should also furnish the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will probably want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its students are sought after. It could also signify that the college has a large network of Eloy AZ business relationships where they can place students to secure 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 looking at and ask what type of support they offer. A number of interior designer colleges provide financial assistance to their new students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships and others provide help in obtaining federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may actually 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 personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Eloy AZ programs you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Eloy home, go to the college and attend a couple of classes. While there speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior design college you choose provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Eloy AZ, confirm that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Eloy Interior Design College
Picking the right interior designer school is a critical first step toward starting your career in this creative and fulfilling occupation. Locating a school where you will receive your education and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a difficult job regardless of what major you have selected. As with any endeavor to attain a higher education, there are several factors to consider before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the business. But it is still imperative that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design programs so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with quality training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Eloy Arizona.