How to Find the Right Interior Design Program near Eloy Arizona
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer college near Eloy AZ, it's time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's imperative that you obtain the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it's vital that you do the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each program that you are considering before you make your ultimate choice. But where do you begin? A number of future students will launch their research by searching for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are important variables when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into account also. We will discuss those issues and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training options are available.
Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Often people confuse interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The principal distinction between the two is the level of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates formal training 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 residential areas attractive as well as functional. On various projects they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad areas that an interior designer in Eloy AZ can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers frequently concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality 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 banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over appearance as the main consideration.
There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. They have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui concepts, Eloy AZ interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final designs.
Interior Design Training Programs
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to get the training needed to start your new career in Eloy AZ. Your choice will no doubt be driven by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in a number of states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum level of training required to enter the field. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are available at a number of Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that deliver more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical facets of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These two year programs supply advanced training in design after achieving the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mostly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required before a candidate can take the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Programs
For individuals who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their Eloy AZ homes, there are accredited online interior design programs. Studying online can be a great 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 laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For a number of students online programs may be the only option if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an additional 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 college you select is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. 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 ideal alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Design Colleges
After you have decided on the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of assessing your college options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the school needs 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 decrease your options also. But selecting the least expensive college or the one that is closest to home are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you should look at as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a few concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others to help you examine and subsequently pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's necessary to verify that the interior designer school and program that you enroll in has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding assessment of their programs and instructors. Just make sure that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it might also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Eloy AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, 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 as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States mandating licensing, at least 2 years of occupational experience may be required also. So besides furnishing an exceptional education, the Eloy AZ college you select should also furnish the appropriate instruction 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 Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some support in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are reviewing 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 school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It might also indicate that the college has a significant network of Eloy AZ business connections where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Eloy AZ colleges you are evaluating and find out what kind of aid they offer. Many of interior design colleges offer financial assistance to their new students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in obtaining grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Eloy AZ colleges you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Eloy home, visit the campus and monitor a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and ask 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? Last, make certain that the interior designer school you choose provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Eloy AZ, verify that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an option as well. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.
Choose in the Right Eloy Interior Design School
Selecting the ideal interior design college is an important initial step toward launching your career in this creative and gratifying profession. Finding a college where you will obtain your training and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a challenging task no matter what field you have chosen. As with any undertaking to acquire an advanced education, there are many factors to consider before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. However it is still essential that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Eloy Arizona.