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How to Select the Right Interior Designer Degree Program near Globe Arizona

Globe Arizona interior designed living room with entertainment centerOnce you have decided to enroll in an interior design degree program 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 important that you receive the right training to put your talents to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it's vital that you carry out the proper research so that you can assess and compare each school that you are reviewing before you make your final choice. But just where do you begin? Many potential students will launch their research by looking for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are relevant variables when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into consideration also. We will address those issues and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But first, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class options are available.

Interior Decoration and Interior Design

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Some people mistake interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The principal distinction between them is the level of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer necessitates formal training 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 areas functional as well as attractive. On various occasions they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Globe AZ can specialize in:

  • Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any room of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Designing. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers often focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the main concern.

There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, for example lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui principles, Globe AZ interior designers employ a wide range of skills that contribute to their final designs.

Interior Design Degrees

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There are 4 degree options available in interior design to obtain the training necessary to launch your new career in Globe AZ. Your choice will no doubt be driven by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in some states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum level of training needed to enter the profession. They take about 2 years to finish and programs are available at numerous Arizona community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that provide more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative aspects of the business 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 two year programs supply advanced training in design after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialty 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. Doctoral programs are primarily for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are normally completed in three to five years.

In order to work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be called for before an applicant can take the licensing exam.

Interior Design Online Programs

For individuals who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Globe AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design programs. Studying online can be an excellent solution for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For a number of students online colleges may be the only option if no interior design schools are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Added expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make sure that the college you select 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 education. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the perfect option for you.

Subjects to Ask Interior Design Programs

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Now that you have selected the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of evaluating your college options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the college needs to be within driving distance from your Globe AZ home. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will limit your options 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 variables that you need to consider also, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a few concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are looking at to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you assess and subsequently choose the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's essential to confirm that the interior designer program and school that you choose has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive evaluation of their teachers 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 confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Globe AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.

Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several 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 school. And in several of those States calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required also. So aside from furnishing an exceptional education, the Globe AZ college you choose should also provide the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be working.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will probably need some support in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It may also indicate that the college has a large network of Globe AZ business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Available? Contact the financial aid offices for the Globe AZ colleges you are evaluating and find out what type of assistance they offer. A number of interior designer colleges provide financial aid to their new students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide support in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Globe AZ colleges you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Globe home, go to the college and monitor a few classes. While there speak with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior designer program you choose provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Globe AZ, make certain that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.

Find Out More About Online Interior Design Programs

Choose in the Best Globe Interior Design Program

Selecting the ideal interior designer college is an important initial step toward starting your career in this creative and gratifying profession. Searching for a college where you will receive your education and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a challenging job regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any undertaking to receive a higher education, there are many factors to think about before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. But it is still imperative that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design programs so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with quality training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Globe Arizona.