How to Pick the Best Interior Design Course near Lake Montezuma Arizona
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design degree program near Lake Montezuma 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 imperative that you obtain the appropriate training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it's very important that you carry out the proper research so that you can assess and compare each college that you are looking at prior to making your final choice. But just where do you begin? Some potential students will start their research by looking for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are relevant issues when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation must be considered also. We will discuss those topics and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But before we do, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training choices are available.
Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration
Some people mistake interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The key distinction between them is the level of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, working as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make living or work areas functional as well as attractive. On various projects they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are two general areas that an interior designer in Lake Montezuma AZ may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any room of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial areas, designers frequently focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.
There are numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, such as lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui principles, Lake Montezuma AZ interior designers employ a wide range of skills that contribute to their final creations.
Interior Design Degree Programs
There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to acquire the training necessary to start your new profession in Lake Montezuma AZ. Your selection will undoubtedly be motivated by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in some states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief explanations 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 2 years to finish and programs are offered at numerous Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can usually obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical facets of the business required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced design training after achieving the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mostly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are generally completed in 3 to 5 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 some instances, two or more years of field experience may be called for before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Programs
For those who wish to study in the convenience of their Lake Montezuma AZ homes, there are accredited online interior design programs. Attending classes online can be an excellent alternative for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For some students online schools may be the sole alternative if no interior design schools are within commuting distance. And as an additional 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 program you choose is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the dedication to obtain 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 Designer Colleges
When you have chosen the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the campus needs to be within driving distance from your Lake Montezuma AZ home. Naturally if you have decided on attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will narrow down your options also. But choosing the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to home are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you should look at also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a few questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others to help you compare and ultimately select the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's necessary to verify that the interior design school and program that you select has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous 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 recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are excellent, it may also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Lake Montezuma AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of 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 program. And in some of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required as well. So besides furnishing an exceptional education, the Lake Montezuma AZ school you select should also furnish the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be working.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will probably need some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It might also indicate that the school has a large network of Lake Montezuma AZ business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Available? Contact the financial aid departments for the Lake Montezuma AZ colleges you are looking at and find out what kind of assistance they offer. Many of interior design programs provide financial aid to their new students. Some schools provide partial scholarships and others provide help in acquiring grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Lake Montezuma AZ colleges you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Lake Montezuma home, visit the college and monitor a few classes. While there speak with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior design college you choose provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Lake Montezuma AZ, make sure that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Enroll in the Right Lake Montezuma Interior Design School
Picking the right interior design college is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and gratifying occupation. Locating a college where you will obtain your training and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a challenging task no matter what field you have decided on. As with any endeavor to receive an advanced education, there are a number of things to consider before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. However it is still essential that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design programs so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Lake Montezuma Arizona.