How to Choose the Right Interior Designer Degree Program near Lake Montezuma Arizona
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Lake Montezuma AZ, it's time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's essential that you receive the right training to put your skills to work. And since several states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's vital that you carry out the proper research in order to assess and compare each school that you are reviewing before you make your ultimate decision. But just where do you start? Many future students will begin their research by looking for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are relevant factors when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into consideration also. We will discuss those issues and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But first, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training options are offered.
Interior Decoration vs Interior Design
Some people confuse interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The key distinction between them is the amount of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education 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 many projects they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Lake Montezuma AZ can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any room of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public areas, designers normally concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the primary concern.
There are numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Lake Montezuma AZ interior designers employ a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
Interior Design Training Programs
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to acquire the training required to start your new career in Lake Montezuma AZ. Your selection will no doubt be motivated by your career objectives in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make certain 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 a number of states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum amount of training needed to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to complete and programs are offered at many Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can usually obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that furnish more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical components of the business needed 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 2 year programs supply advanced training in design after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer options in specialized majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are largely for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be required before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Programs
For anyone wishing' to attend classes in the convenience of their Lake Montezuma AZ homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Studying online can be a good solution for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For some students online schools may be the only option if no interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Additional costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the program you select is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the perfect option for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Design Colleges
Now that you have decided on the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of reviewing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the school must be within driving distance from your Lake Montezuma AZ residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending a school online, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will limit your options also. But choosing the most affordable college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you should consider as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a few concerns that you may want to address with the colleges you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and subsequently choose the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the interior designer program and college that you choose has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment of their programs and teachers. Just make sure 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 exceptional, it might also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Lake Montezuma AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required also. So in addition to furnishing an exceptional education, the Lake Montezuma AZ school you enroll in should also furnish the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will probably want some help in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If yes, 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 may also signify that the school has a substantial network of Lake Montezuma AZ business connections where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Contact the financial aid offices for the Lake Montezuma AZ schools you are looking at and ask what kind of support they provide. A number of interior design colleges provide financial aid to their incoming students. Certain schools offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Lake Montezuma AZ schools you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Lake Montezuma home, go to the campus and monitor a few classes. While there talk 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 Available that Fit your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior design school you enroll in provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evening 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, confirm that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Choose in the Right Lake Montezuma Interior Design College
Selecting the right interior design program is an important initial step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding occupation. Locating a school where you will obtain your education and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a difficult job no matter what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to attain an advanced education, there are many things to consider before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, verify that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the profession. However it is still important that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design programs so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Lake Montezuma Arizona.