How to Select the Right Interior Designer School near Holbrook Arizona
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design degree program near Holbrook AZ, it's time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's essential that you receive the appropriate training to put your skills to work. And since some states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it's essential that you do the appropriate research in order to assess and compare each college that you are reviewing before you make your ultimate choice. But where do you start? Some prospective students will launch their research by searching for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are important factors when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation should be considered as well. We will address those topics and other crucial questions that you must ask 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 training choices are offered.
Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration
Many people confuse interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The primary difference between the two is the amount of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. However, doing business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or living areas attractive as well as functional. On many projects they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Holbrook AZ can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any room of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers normally focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. As an 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 concern.
There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. They 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 including Feng shui concepts, Holbrook AZ interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that contribute to their final creations.
Interior Design Training Programs
There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to obtain the training required to start your new career in Holbrook AZ. Your decision will undoubtedly be driven by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have budgeted 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 qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in some states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum level of training required to enter the profession. They take approximately 2 years to complete and programs are available at many Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level employment 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 technical and creative facets of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced design training after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialized majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are largely for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are generally completed in three to five years.
In order 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, two or more years of field experience may be needed before a candidate can take the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Programs
For anyone wishing' to study in the convenience of their Holbrook AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design schools. Attending classes online can be a great solution for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For some students online colleges may be the sole alternative if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Additional costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make certain that the school you choose is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the perfect option for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Design Schools
Once you have selected the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of analyzing your college options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the school must be within driving distance from your Holbrook AZ residence. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will narrow down your options as well. But selecting the most affordable college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other things that you should consider as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and ultimately pick the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's important to make sure that the interior designer program and school that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding evaluation 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 recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college 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, a number of Holbrook AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate 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, a minimum of 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. So aside from providing an excellent education, the Holbrook AZ school you enroll in 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 no doubt want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It might also indicate that the college has a significant network of Holbrook AZ business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Holbrook AZ schools you are evaluating and ask what kind of assistance they offer. A number of interior designer schools offer financial assistance to their new students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Holbrook AZ schools you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Holbrook home, visit the college and attend a few classes. While there speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior design college you enroll in offers 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 at night or on weekends near Holbrook AZ, make certain that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Best Holbrook Interior Design School
Selecting the ideal interior designer school is a crucial initial step toward launching your career in this creative and rewarding occupation. Locating a school where you will receive your training and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a daunting job regardless of what major you have selected. As with any endeavor to attain a higher education, there are many points to think about before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, make sure that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the field. However it is still essential that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design programs so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Holbrook Arizona.