How to Enroll in the Right Interior Design Degree Program near Flowing Wells Arizona
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer school near Flowing Wells 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 spaces, it's imperative that you get the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's very important that you carry out the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each program that you are considering prior to making your ultimate choice. But just where do you start? Some future students will launch their research by looking for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are important issues when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation need to be taken into account as well. We will cover those topics and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are interested in 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 available.
Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration
Some people confuse interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The main difference between them is the amount of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or residential spaces functional as well as attractive. On some occasions they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are two general areas that an interior designer in Flowing Wells AZ can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any area of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers normally concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.
There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, such as lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. They must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui concepts, Flowing Wells AZ interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final designs.
Interior Designer Degrees
There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to acquire the training needed to begin your new career in Flowing Wells AZ. Your choice will undoubtedly be influenced by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, be sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in several states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum level of education needed to enter the profession. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are available at numerous Arizona community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can usually obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that provide more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative aspects of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced design training after achieving a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide alternatives in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs 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 typically completed in three to five years.
In order to work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of 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 examination.
Interior Design Online Programs
For anyone wishing' to attend classes in the convenience of their Flowing Wells AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design degrees. Studying online can be a great alternative for those students that are employed or have busy 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 many students online colleges may be the sole alternative if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make sure that the college you enroll in is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the ideal alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Design Colleges
After you have decided on the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the task of reviewing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the college has to be within commuting distance from your Flowing Wells AZ home. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But choosing the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to home are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you need to look at as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a few questions that you may want to address with the programs you are considering to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you compare and ultimately choose the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's important to verify that the interior design program and college that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a national or regional 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 rigorous evaluation of their teachers and programs. 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 verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are outstanding, it might also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Flowing Wells AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of occupational experience may be required also. So in addition to furnishing an exceptional education, the Flowing Wells AZ college you enroll in should also furnish the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with 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 earned your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some support in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design field and its graduates are in demand. It may also signify that the school has a large network of Flowing Wells AZ business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Flowing Wells AZ colleges you are looking at and ask what type of assistance they offer. Many of interior designer programs offer financial aid to their new students. Various schools offer partial scholarships while others provide assistance in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Flowing Wells AZ colleges you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Flowing Wells home, visit the school and sit in on 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 approaches are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior designer school you enroll in provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Flowing Wells AZ, make certain that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Choose in the Best Flowing Wells Interior Design College
Selecting the right interior designer college is a critical initial step toward launching your career in this creative and fulfilling profession. Locating a school where you will obtain your training and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a daunting task no matter what major you have chosen. As with any undertaking to acquire a higher education, there are a number of things to consider before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. However it is still essential that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design programs so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Flowing Wells Arizona.