How to Pick the Right Interior Designer School 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 selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's imperative that you obtain the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's vital that you do the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each program that you are considering prior to making your final selection. But where do you start? Many potential students will start their research by searching for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are relevant variables when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to be considered also. We will cover those issues and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are researching 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 alternatives are available.
Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Some people mistake interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The key distinction between them is the amount of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, working as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in many 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 projects they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are two broad areas that an interior designer in New Kingman Butler AZ can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers frequently focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.
There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. They need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui concepts, New Kingman Butler AZ interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that help bring about their final creations.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are four degree options available in interior design to get the training required to start your new profession in New Kingman Butler AZ. Your selection will no doubt be motivated by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make certain to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in several states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum level of training needed to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to finish and programs are offered at a number of Arizona community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can normally obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative facets of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These two year programs supply advanced design training after acquiring the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialized majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mostly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are generally completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be called for before an applicant can take the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Programs
For students who to study in the comfort of their New Kingman Butler AZ homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Studying 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 accessed on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For a number of students online programs may be the only alternative 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 expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated also. Just make sure that the school 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 acquire 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 setting, then an online interior design college may be the ideal alternative for you.
What to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
After you have chosen the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of evaluating your school options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the campus needs to be within commuting distance from your New Kingman Butler AZ residence. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will narrow down your choices also. But picking the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to home are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you need to look at also, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are reviewing to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and subsequently pick the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's imperative to verify that the interior designer program and college that you enroll in 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). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are excellent, it might also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many New Kingman Butler AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do require 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 several of those States calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required also. So in addition to furnishing an outstanding education, the New Kingman Butler AZ program you select should also provide the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be working.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will probably want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its students are sought after. It might also indicate that the school has a large network of New Kingman Butler AZ business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the New Kingman Butler AZ colleges you are evaluating and ask what type of aid they provide. Many of interior designer schools offer financial assistance to their new students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide help in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the New Kingman Butler AZ colleges you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your New Kingman Butler home, go to the campus and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few 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 Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior designer program you choose offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near New Kingman Butler AZ, make certain that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best New Kingman Butler Interior Design Program
Choosing the ideal interior design college is a crucial first step toward starting your career in this creative and gratifying occupation. Locating a school where you will receive your training and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a difficult job regardless of what major you have selected. As with any endeavor to acquire an advanced education, there are a number of factors to think about before choosing a school, program, or course. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. However it is still imperative that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in New Kingman Butler Arizona.