How to Enroll in the Best Interior Design Program near Gold Canyon Arizona
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design college near Gold Canyon AZ, it's time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's essential that you get the proper training to put your talents to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it's essential that you do the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each school that you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection. But where do you start? A number of potential students will launch their research by looking for interior design courses near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are relevant issues when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation must be taken into account as well. We will discuss those topics and other crucial questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But before we do, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training options are offered.
Interior Decoration vs Interior Design
Some people mistake interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The primary difference between the two is the level of training required. Anyone 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, working as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or living areas attractive as well as functional. On various occasions they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are two broad categories that an interior designer in Gold Canyon AZ can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any room of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers normally focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.
There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, including color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. 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 including Feng shui principles, Gold Canyon AZ interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
Interior Design Degrees
There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to obtain the training necessary to begin your new career in Gold Canyon AZ. Your choice will no doubt be motivated by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, be sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in a number of states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum amount of education needed to enter the field. They take roughly two years to finish and programs are offered at a number of Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical aspects of the business needed to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced design training after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialty majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are mainly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are normally completed in three to five years.
To work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required before an applicant can take the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Programs
For anyone wishing' to study in the comfort of their Gold Canyon AZ homes, there are accredited online interior design colleges. Studying online can be an excellent option for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For many students online colleges may be the only option if no interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Added costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make sure that the school you choose is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, 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 distance or online learning. If you have the dedication to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Design Programs
After you have chosen the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of assessing your school options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your Gold Canyon AZ home. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will limit your options also. But choosing the most affordable college or the one that is closest to home are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you should look at also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the colleges you are looking at to get those answers as well as others to help you compare and subsequently select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the interior designer college and program 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). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding assessment of their programs and teachers. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Gold Canyon AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do require that interior designers get 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 mandating licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore aside from furnishing an excellent education, the Gold Canyon AZ school you choose should also provide the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be working.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It could also signify that the school has a large network of Gold Canyon AZ business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Gold Canyon AZ colleges you are reviewing and find out what type of aid they provide. Many of interior designer schools provide financial assistance to their new students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Gold Canyon AZ schools you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Gold Canyon home, visit the campus and sit in on a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior design program you enroll in offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Gold Canyon AZ, verify that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Gold Canyon Interior Design School
Choosing the right interior designer program is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and fulfilling occupation. Locating a college where you will receive your training and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a challenging task regardless of what major you have selected. As with any undertaking to attain a higher education, there are several factors to think about before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, verify that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the profession. However it is still imperative that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design schools so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Gold Canyon Arizona.