How to Choose the Right Interior Design Program near Eloy Arizona
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer school near Eloy AZ, it's time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's important that you get the appropriate training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it's crucial that you perform the proper research so that you can assess and compare each program that you are considering before you make your ultimate choice. But exactly where do you begin? A number of potential students will start their research by searching for interior design courses near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are important variables when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into account also. We will cover those issues 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 alternatives are offered.
Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration
Often people mistake interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The primary distinction between them is the level of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, doing business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make living or work areas functional as well as attractive. On many occasions they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are two 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 essentially any area of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers often focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might concentrate more on functionality over looks as the main concern.
There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers need to 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 utilize a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
Interior Designer Training Programs
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to acquire the training necessary to start your new career in Eloy AZ. Your decision will undoubtedly be influenced by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make certain to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in a number of states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum amount of education required to enter the field. They take about two years to finish and programs are available at numerous Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level positions 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 trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These two year programs provide advanced design training after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialty majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are mostly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are generally completed in three to five years.
To work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be needed before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Programs
For students who to attend classes in the comfort of their Eloy AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design programs. Studying online can be an excellent solution for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For some students online colleges may be the sole alternative if no interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Additional expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make certain that the school you choose 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 online or distance education. 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 ideal option for you.
What to Ask Interior Design Programs
After you have selected the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of reviewing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the college needs to be within driving distance from your Eloy AZ residence. Of course 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 fee for tuition will limit your options as well. But selecting the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you need to look at as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a few questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are reviewing to get those answers in addition to others to help you compare and subsequently choose the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's essential to verify that the interior designer college and program that you select has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just verify 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 establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are excellent, it might also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Eloy AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do require 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 school. And in several of those States requiring licensing, a minimum of 2 years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore besides furnishing an outstanding education, the Eloy AZ program you choose should also provide the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some support in finding your first position. Ask the colleges 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 indication that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its students are sought after. It could also indicate that the school has a sizable network of Eloy AZ business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Available? Contact the financial aid offices for the Eloy AZ schools you are evaluating and find out what kind of assistance they offer. A number of interior designer programs provide financial assistance to their new students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide assistance in acquiring federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Eloy AZ colleges you are considering what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Eloy home, visit the campus and sit in on 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 credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior design program you choose provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Eloy AZ, make sure that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, confirm 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 Best Eloy Interior Design College
Choosing the right interior designer college is a crucial first step toward starting your career in this artistic and gratifying profession. Searching for a school where you will receive your training and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a difficult job no matter what field you have selected. As with any endeavor to receive a higher education, there are a number of factors to consider before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design college are both accredited and highly esteemed in the business. However it is still essential that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Eloy Arizona.