How to Enroll in the Right Interior Designer Degree Program near New Kingman Butler Arizona
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design college near New Kingman Butler 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 interiors, it's imperative that you get the appropriate training to put your skills to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it's very important that you perform the proper research so that you can evaluate and compare each school that you are looking at before you make your ultimate selection. But where do you start? Many future students will launch their research by looking for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are important factors when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation must be taken into consideration as well. We will discuss those topics and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But before we do, let's talk 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 design for interior decoration and conversely. The main difference between them is the level of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, doing business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or residential areas attractive as well as functional. On various projects they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are two general areas that an interior designer in New Kingman Butler AZ may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any room of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers frequently concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.
There are numerous areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui concepts, New Kingman Butler AZ interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
Interior Design Degree Programs
There are four degree options offered in interior design to obtain the training necessary to start your new profession in New Kingman Butler AZ. Your decision will undoubtedly be influenced by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in some states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum level of training required to enter the profession. They take about two years to complete and programs are offered at a number of Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that provide more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative aspects of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced design training after acquiring a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialized majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mostly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be required before a candidate can take the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Programs
For students who to study in the convenience of their New Kingman Butler AZ homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Attending classes online can be a good option for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For some students online colleges may be the only option if no interior design schools are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Added expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the college you select is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the dedication to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the ideal alternative for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
When you have decided on the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of assessing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the campus needs to be within commuting distance from your New Kingman Butler AZ residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will narrow down your options as well. But choosing the most affordable school or the one that is closest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you should consider as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Following are a few concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and subsequently pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's imperative to confirm that the interior design program and school that you choose has been accredited by either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding assessment of their teachers and programs. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are outstanding, it might also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of New Kingman Butler AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States calling for licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required also. Therefore besides providing an outstanding education, the New Kingman Butler AZ program you choose should also provide the appropriate education 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 School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will no doubt need some help in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design field and its students are sought after. It might also indicate that the college has a sizable network of New Kingman Butler AZ business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the New Kingman Butler AZ colleges you are reviewing and ask what kind of support they offer. Many of interior designer programs provide financial aid to their incoming students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide support in acquiring 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 ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the New Kingman Butler AZ programs you are reviewing what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your New Kingman Butler home, visit the school and sit in on a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior designer college you choose offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near New Kingman Butler AZ, verify that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Best New Kingman Butler Interior Design College
Choosing the right interior design college is an important first step toward launching your career in this creative and fulfilling profession. Finding a school where you will receive your training and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting job no matter what field you have chosen. As with any undertaking to acquire an advanced education, there are many points to think about before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design college are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. However it is still important that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design schools so that you can make the right final selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in New Kingman Butler Arizona.