How to Choose the Right Interior Designer Course near Holbrook Arizona
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer school near Holbrook AZ, it's time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's important that you receive the proper training to put your talents to work. And since several states do require that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's crucial that you do the appropriate research so that you can analyze and compare each school that you are considering before you make your final choice. But just where do you start? Some prospective students will launch their research by searching for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are relevant issues when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into account as well. We will address those issues and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training options are offered.
Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration
Many people mistake interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The principal distinction between the two is the level of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. However, working as an interior designer requires a formal education and in numerous 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 spaces functional as well as attractive. On some projects they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Holbrook AZ may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with public or commercial areas, designers frequently concentrate predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.
There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers must 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 concepts, Holbrook AZ interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final designs.
Interior Designer Training Programs
There are four degree options offered in interior design to obtain the training required to launch your new profession in Holbrook AZ. Your decision will no doubt be influenced by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make certain to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in several 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. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum amount of training required to enter the field. They take about 2 years to finish and programs are offered at many Arizona community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that furnish more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical components of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These two year programs provide advanced design training after achieving the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are largely for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are normally completed in three to five years.
In order to work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be called for before a candidate can take the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Programs
For those who wish to study in the comfort of their Holbrook AZ homes, there are online accredited 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 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 only option if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Additional costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make sure that the school you select is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Design Colleges
When you have selected the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of assessing your college options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the college must be within driving distance from your Holbrook AZ home. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will decrease your options also. But selecting the most affordable school or the one that is closest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you need to consider also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a few concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and subsequently pick the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's important to verify that the interior designer program and college that you enroll in has earned accreditation from 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 receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous 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 verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are excellent, it may also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Holbrook AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do require that interior designers become 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 requiring licensing, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore aside from furnishing an outstanding education, the Holbrook AZ program you select should also furnish the proper education to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It could also indicate that the school has a substantial network of Holbrook AZ business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Holbrook AZ schools you are reviewing and find out what type of aid they provide. A number of interior designer colleges offer financial aid to their incoming students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide help in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that selecting 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 assistance.
How Big are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Holbrook AZ programs you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Holbrook home, go to the college and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior designer school you select provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Holbrook AZ, confirm that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Choose in the Right Holbrook Interior Design Program
Selecting the ideal interior design program is an important first step toward starting your career in this artistic and rewarding occupation. Locating a school where you will receive your training and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a challenging job no matter what major you have decided on. As with any undertaking to receive a higher education, there are a number of points to think about before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly esteemed in the business. But it is still imperative that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design schools so that you can make the right final selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Holbrook Arizona.