How to Find the Right Interior Designer Course near Laveen Arizona
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Laveen AZ, it's time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's imperative that you obtain the proper training to put your skills to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's essential that you perform the proper research in order to analyze and compare each school that you are looking at before you make your ultimate choice. But exactly where do you start? A number of future students will kick off their research by looking for interior design courses near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are relevant variables when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to be considered also. We will cover those topics and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are offered.
Interior Decoration and Interior Design
Often people confuse interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The main difference between them is the amount of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer requires formal training and in many 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 team up with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Laveen AZ may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any room of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers often focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over looks as the main concern.
There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, for example lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui concepts, Laveen AZ interior designers implement a wide range of skills that help bring about their final designs.
Interior Design Training Programs
There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to get the training needed to launch your new profession in Laveen AZ. Your decision will no doubt be motivated by your career objectives in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make certain to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in some states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum amount of education required to enter the profession. They take roughly 2 years to finish and programs are available at many Arizona community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that deliver more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative components of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the minimum 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 training in design after acquiring a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mostly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are typically completed in three to five years.
In order to work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be called for before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Programs
For those who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Laveen AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design degrees. Studying online can be a good solution for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For many students online colleges may be the sole option if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Added expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the school you enroll in is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the perfect option for you.
What to Ask Interior Designer Programs
Now that you have decided on the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of assessing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the college must be within commuting distance from your Laveen 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 expense for tuition will narrow down your choices also. But picking the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you should consider as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and ultimately select the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's important to confirm that the interior designer college and program that you choose has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous assessment of their instructors and programs. Just verify 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 school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it may also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Laveen AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited program. 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 Laveen AZ college you choose should also provide the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be working.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some support in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It could also signify that the college has a large network of Laveen AZ business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial aid departments for the Laveen AZ schools you are looking at and find out what kind of support they offer. A number of interior design programs offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide help in securing grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Laveen AZ colleges you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Laveen home, visit the college and sit in on a few classes. While there speak with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior design school you select offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Laveen AZ, verify that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose in the Best Laveen Interior Design College
Selecting the right interior designer program is a crucial initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and fulfilling occupation. Searching for a college where you will receive your training and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a daunting job regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any undertaking to attain an advanced education, there are several things to consider before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, check that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the business. But it is still imperative 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 evaluate and compare interior design schools so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with quality training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Laveen Arizona.