How to Find the Right Interior Design Program near New Kingman Butler Arizona
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design degree program near New Kingman Butler AZ, it's time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's essential that you obtain the right training to put your talents to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it's vital that you perform the appropriate research so that you can analyze and compare each program that you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision. But just where do you start? Some future students will kick off their research by searching for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are important variables when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation should be considered as well. We will discuss those topics and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are researching 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 compared to Interior Design
Some people mistake interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The main 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 skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, 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 trained to make living or work areas attractive as well as functional. On some occasions they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in New Kingman Butler AZ may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any room of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with public or commercial areas, designers normally focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.
There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui concepts, New Kingman Butler AZ interior designers implement a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
Interior Design Degrees
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to get the training necessary to begin your new profession in New Kingman Butler AZ. Your selection will undoubtedly be driven 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 decide to enroll in, make certain to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in several states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum amount of training required to enter the field. They take approximately two years to finish and programs are offered at numerous Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that supply more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical aspects of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced design training after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer choices 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 degrees 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 colleges become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be needed before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Programs
For those who wish to study in the comfort of their New Kingman Butler 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 laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For a number of students online schools may be the sole alternative if no interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the school you pick is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the perfect alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Design Colleges
Now that you have chosen the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the school has to be within commuting distance from your New Kingman Butler AZ home. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will limit your choices also. But choosing the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to home are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you need to look at also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a few questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are reviewing to get those answers in addition to others to help you examine and subsequently choose the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's imperative to verify that the interior design program and school that you choose has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous evaluation of their programs and instructors. 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 school and the quality of the education are excellent, it may also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of New Kingman Butler AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States calling for licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required as well. So in addition to providing an exceptional education, the New Kingman Butler AZ school you select 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 working.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will probably want some support in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its students are sought after. It may also indicate that the college has a significant network of New Kingman Butler AZ business connections where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Contact the financial aid offices for the New Kingman Butler AZ colleges you are looking at and ask what kind of support they offer. Many of interior design colleges offer financial aid to their incoming students. Various schools offer partial scholarships while others provide assistance in obtaining grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the New Kingman Butler AZ programs you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your New Kingman Butler home, visit the college and attend 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 philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior designer school you enroll in provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near New Kingman Butler AZ, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Enroll in the Best New Kingman Butler Interior Design Program
Picking the right interior design school is a critical first step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding occupation. Searching for a college where you will receive your education and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a daunting job no matter what major you have selected. As with any endeavor to attain an advanced education, there are many things to consider before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, confirm that the design college and program are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. However it is still essential that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design programs so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in New Kingman Butler Arizona.