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How to Choose the Right Interior Design School near Eloy Arizona

Eloy Arizona interior designed living room with entertainment centerOnce you have decided 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 talent for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's imperative that you receive the appropriate training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's vital that you carry out the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each school that you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection. But where do you begin? Many future students will kick off their research by searching for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are important variables when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation must be considered also. We will discuss those issues and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are interested in 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 choices are available.

Interior Decoration and Interior Design

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Often people confuse interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The main difference between the two is the amount of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, working as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or living areas attractive as well as functional. On various projects they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are two broad categories that an interior designer in Eloy AZ can specialize in:

  • Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any room of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers frequently focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might concentrate more on functionality over looks as the main 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 need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui principles, Eloy AZ interior designers implement a wide range of skills that help bring about their final designs.

Interior Designer Training Programs

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There are four degree options available in interior design to get the training required to begin your new profession in Eloy AZ. Your choice will undoubtedly be driven by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, make sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in several states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum level of training needed to enter the field. They take roughly two years to finish and programs are available at numerous Arizona community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that supply more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative aspects of the business required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree 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 design training after achieving a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer choices in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are primarily for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 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 some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be required before a candidate can take the licensing examination.

Interior Design Online Programs

For anyone wishing' to attend classes in the comfort of their Eloy AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design classes. Attending classes online can be a great alternative for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For some students online colleges may be the only alternative if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Added costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the school you pick is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also acquire 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 confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the ideal option for you.

What to Ask Interior Design Programs

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After you have selected the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the task of analyzing your college options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the campus has to be within driving distance from your Eloy AZ residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will narrow down your options as well. But choosing the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to home are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you need to look at as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a few concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are considering to get those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and ultimately pick the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's imperative to verify that the interior designer program and college that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive assessment of their instructors and programs. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Eloy AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.

Does the Program Prep 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) exam as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required as well. So in addition to providing an outstanding education, the Eloy AZ program you enroll in should also furnish the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet 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 attained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some support in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It could also signify that the school has a substantial network of Eloy AZ business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Eloy AZ schools you are evaluating and ask what kind of assistance they offer. A number of interior designer programs provide financial aid to their new students. Various schools provide partial scholarships while others provide help in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.

How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Eloy AZ colleges you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Eloy home, go to the campus and sit in on a few classes. While there talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior designer school you select offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Eloy AZ, make certain that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Learn More About Eloy Interior Design Schools

Enroll in the Right Eloy Interior Design College

Choosing the right interior design school is an important first step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding occupation. Locating a college where you will obtain your training and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a challenging task no matter what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to acquire a higher education, there are a number of points to consider before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. But it is still essential that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design programs so that you can make the right final selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Eloy Arizona.