How to Enroll in the Best Interior Design Course near Guadalupe Arizona
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer college near Guadalupe 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 interiors, it's important that you receive the right training to put your talents to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's essential that you carry out the appropriate research so that you can evaluate and compare each college that you are looking at before you make your ultimate selection. But where do you start? A number of prospective students will kick off their research by searching for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are relevant issues when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into account also. We will address those topics and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are reviewing 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 alternatives are offered.
Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design
Some people mistake interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The principal difference between the two is the amount of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. However, working as an interior designer requires a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or living spaces functional as well as attractive. On various occasions they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are two general areas that an interior designer in Guadalupe AZ may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers often focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.
There are numerous areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, such as lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui principles, Guadalupe AZ interior designers implement a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to acquire the training needed to start your new profession in Guadalupe AZ. Your decision will undoubtedly be motivated by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in several states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum amount of education required to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to complete and programs are available at many Arizona community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative aspects of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a college graduate in order to secure 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 offer alternatives in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mainly for those professionals who want 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 field experience may be required before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Programs
For anyone wishing' to attend classes in the convenience of their Guadalupe AZ homes, there are accredited online interior design colleges. Attending classes online can be a great alternative for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For a number of students online programs may be the sole option if no interior design schools are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Additional expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the school you select is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also acquire 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 right option for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
Once you have chosen the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of analyzing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the school has to be within driving distance from your Guadalupe AZ home. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will narrow down your options also. But choosing the most affordable college or the one that is closest to home are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other things that you should consider as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and subsequently choose the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's important to verify that the interior designer college and program 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). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding 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 verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Guadalupe AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do mandate 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 school. And in some of those States calling for licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required also. Therefore in addition to furnishing an excellent education, the Guadalupe AZ school you select should also furnish the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be working.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some help in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It might also indicate that the school has a significant network of Guadalupe AZ business connections where they can place students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Guadalupe AZ colleges you are reviewing and ask what kind of assistance they offer. A number of interior design colleges offer financial aid to their new students. Certain schools offer partial scholarships while others provide assistance in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Guadalupe AZ colleges you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Guadalupe home, visit the school and monitor a couple of classes. While there talk 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? Last, verify that the interior design program you select provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Guadalupe AZ, verify that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose in the Best Guadalupe Interior Design School
Picking the right interior design college is an important first step toward starting your career in this creative and gratifying occupation. Searching for a school where you will obtain your education and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a challenging job no matter what major you have chosen. As with any undertaking to acquire a higher education, there are a number of things 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 esteemed in the field. However it is still important that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Guadalupe Arizona.