How to Find the Best Interior Designer School near Flowing Wells Arizona
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design school near Flowing Wells AZ, it's time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's important that you get the right training to put your skills to work. And since several states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it's very important that you carry out the proper research so that you can evaluate and compare each college that you are considering before you make your final selection. But exactly where do you begin? A number of potential students will begin their research by searching for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are key factors when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation need to be considered also. We will cover those topics and other crucial 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 Decoration vs Interior Design
Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The principal distinction between the two is the amount of training required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make living or work spaces attractive as well as functional. On many projects they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Flowing Wells AZ can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any room of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial areas, designers normally focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces 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 numerous areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui concepts, Flowing Wells AZ interior designers employ a wide range of skills that help bring about their final designs.
Interior Designer Degrees
There are four degree options available in interior design to obtain the training necessary to start your new career in Flowing Wells AZ. Your selection will undoubtedly be influenced by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in a number of states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum amount of education needed to enter the profession. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are available at many Arizona community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that furnish more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative facets of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum 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 furnish advanced design training after acquiring a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide alternatives in specialized majors in general areas such 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 normally completed in three to five years.
To work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be required before a candidate can take the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Programs
For individuals who wish to study in the convenience of their Flowing Wells AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design degrees. Studying online can be an excellent 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 convenient for the student. For a number of students online colleges may be the only alternative if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the program you pick is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the dedication to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
Now that you have selected the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of assessing your school options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the college has to be within commuting distance from your Flowing Wells AZ residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will decrease your options also. But picking the most affordable school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you should consider as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a few concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others to help you assess and subsequently select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's important to verify that the interior design college and program that you choose has been accredited by either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive assessment of their programs and instructors. 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 establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Flowing Wells AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States calling for licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to furnishing an excellent education, the Flowing Wells AZ school you select should also provide the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ examination 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 need some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job placement 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 trade and its graduates are sought after. It could also signify that the college has a substantial network of Flowing Wells AZ business connections where they can place students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Flowing Wells AZ colleges you are looking at and ask what type of support they offer. Many of interior designer schools offer financial aid to their new students. Some schools provide partial scholarships while others provide support in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Flowing Wells AZ programs you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Flowing Wells home, visit the campus and monitor a couple of 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 backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior designer school you choose offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Flowing Wells AZ, make certain that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Enroll in the Best Flowing Wells Interior Design College
Selecting the right interior designer school is an important first step toward starting your career in this artistic and gratifying profession. Locating a college where you will obtain your education and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting job no matter what field you have decided on. As with any undertaking to receive a higher education, there are a number of points to think about before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, verify that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. But it is still important that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Flowing Wells Arizona.