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How to Enroll in the Best Interior Designer Program near Holbrook Arizona

Holbrook Arizona interior designed living room with viewNow that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Holbrook AZ, it's time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's important that you obtain the proper training to put your skills to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it's crucial that you do the proper research in order to analyze and compare each program that you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection. But just where do you start? Some future students will begin their research by searching for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are relevant issues when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into account as well. We will cover those topics and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are reviewing 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 available.

Interior Decoration vs Interior Design

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Some people mistake interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The primary difference between the two is the amount of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or living spaces attractive as well as functional. On many projects they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are two broad 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 room of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers often focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the main consideration.

There are numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. They need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui principles, Holbrook AZ interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that contribute to their final creations.

Interior Designer Training Programs

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There are four degree options offered in interior design to obtain the training required to start your new career in Holbrook AZ. Your selection will undoubtedly be motivated by your career objectives in addition to the money and time that you have to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, be sure to pick 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 covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum level of education needed to enter the profession. They take about 2 years to finish and programs are available at a number of Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that supply more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical components of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced design training after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialized majors in general areas such 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. Doctorate degrees are mostly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.

To work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be required before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.

Interior Design Online Programs

For individuals who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Holbrook AZ homes, there are accredited online interior design degrees. Studying online can be an excellent alternative for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For many students online programs may be the only alternative if no interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Additional expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just make sure 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 online or distance education. If you have the dedication to obtain your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the right option for you.

Topics to Ask Interior Design Colleges

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Once you have decided on the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of analyzing your school options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the campus needs to be within driving distance from your Holbrook AZ home. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will limit your options also. But selecting the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you should consider as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Below are a few concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are looking at to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and ultimately choose the right degree program.

Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's necessary to make sure that the interior design program and school that you enroll in has been accredited by 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 earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive evaluation of their programs and teachers. Just confirm that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Holbrook AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.

Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of 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, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore in addition to furnishing an excellent education, the Holbrook AZ program you choose should also provide the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some help in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job placement 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 highly regarded within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It might also indicate that the school has a substantial network of Holbrook AZ business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial aid departments for the Holbrook AZ schools you are reviewing and find out what kind of support they offer. A number of interior design schools offer financial aid to their incoming students. Various schools offer partial scholarships while others provide support in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Holbrook AZ programs you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Holbrook home, visit the campus and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some students and find out 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, make sure that the interior design college you enroll in offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while attending 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, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.

Learn More About Online Interior Design Schools

Choose in the Best Holbrook Interior Design School

Selecting the right interior design college is a critical initial step toward launching your career in this creative and fulfilling profession. Searching for a school where you will receive your training and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult job regardless of what major you have decided on. As with any undertaking to attain an advanced education, there are several points to think about before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, confirm that the design college and program are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. But it is still essential that you carry out 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 excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Holbrook Arizona.