How to Pick the Best Interior Designer Degree Program near Globe Arizona
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer school near Globe AZ, it's time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's essential that you receive the appropriate training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's very important that you carry out the appropriate research in order to analyze and compare each college that you are reviewing before you make your ultimate decision. But where do you begin? Some potential students will begin their research by looking for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are important variables when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation should be considered as well. We will cover those topics and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class options are offered.
Interior Decoration vs Interior Design
Some people confuse interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The main difference between them is the amount of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. However, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or living areas attractive as well as functional. On some projects they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad areas that an interior designer in Globe AZ can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any room 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 working on public or commercial spaces, designers normally focus predominantly 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 hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.
There are numerous areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, including color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui concepts, Globe AZ interior designers implement a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
Interior Design Training Programs
There are four degree options available in interior design to get the training required to start your new profession in Globe AZ. Your choice will undoubtedly be influenced by your career objectives in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in some states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum amount of training required to enter the field. They take roughly two years to finish and programs are available at many Arizona community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that supply more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative components of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These two year programs supply advanced training in design after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer options in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are largely for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are typically completed in three to five years.
To work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be needed before an applicant can take the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Programs
For anyone wishing' to attend classes in the comfort of their Globe AZ homes, there are accredited online interior design programs. Studying online can be an excellent alternative for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For many students online programs may be the only option if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Additional costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated also. Just make certain 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 earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the dedication to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Design Schools
When you have decided on the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of evaluating your school options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the campus must be within commuting distance from your Globe AZ home. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will decrease your options also. But picking the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you need to consider as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a few concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are looking at to obtain those answers as well as others to help you compare and subsequently pick the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's necessary to verify that the interior designer program and school that you select has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just confirm 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 school and the quality of the training are outstanding, it might also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Globe AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required also. So besides furnishing an excellent education, the Globe AZ college you enroll in should also provide the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with 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 attained your interior designer certification, you will probably need some support in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It might also signify that the college has a significant network of Globe AZ business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Globe AZ colleges you are looking at and find out what kind of aid they provide. Many of interior designer schools provide financial aid to their incoming students. Some schools provide partial scholarships while others provide support in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Globe AZ programs you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Globe home, visit the school 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 styles are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior design school you choose provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Globe AZ, verify that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose in the Right Globe Interior Design College
Picking the right interior designer college is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this creative and fulfilling profession. Searching for a college where you will obtain your training and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a difficult job no matter what major you have decided on. As with any undertaking to acquire a higher education, there are many points to think about before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, verify that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the business. But it is still imperative that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Globe Arizona.