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How to Find the Best Interior Design Degree Program near New Kingman Butler Arizona

New Kingman Butler Arizona interior designed living room with entertainment centerNow that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer 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 interiors, it's imperative that you receive the proper training to put your talents to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it's vital that you perform the proper research in order to analyze and compare each college that you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision. But exactly where do you begin? Some future students will begin their research by searching for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are key variables when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into consideration as well. We will cover those topics and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are available.

Interior Decoration and Interior Design

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Many people mistake interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The principal distinction between them is the amount of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or living spaces attractive as well as functional. On some projects they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in New Kingman Butler AZ can specialize in:

  • Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers frequently concentrate predominantly 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 hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over looks as the main concern.

There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui principles, New Kingman Butler AZ interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.

Interior Designer Training Programs

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There are four degree options available in interior design to get the training required to begin your new career in New Kingman Butler AZ. Your decision will no doubt be driven by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in some states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum amount of training required to enter the profession. They take about two years to complete and programs are offered at many Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level employment 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 business needed to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced design training after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are largely for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are typically completed in three to five years.

To work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be required before a candidate can take the licensing exam.

Interior Design Online Programs

For students who to attend classes in the convenience of their New Kingman Butler AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design colleges. Attending classes online can be a great option for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For a number of students online colleges may be the only option if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Additional costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the college you pick is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the perfect option for you.

Questions to Ask Interior Design Schools

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Once you have decided on the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your New Kingman Butler AZ residence. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will limit your options as well. But picking the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to home are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other things that you should consider also, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you examine and ultimately select the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's imperative to confirm that the interior designer program and school that you select has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding assessment of their teachers and programs. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are excellent, it may also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of New Kingman Butler AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.

Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States requiring licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to providing an exceptional education, the New Kingman Butler AZ college you enroll in should also furnish the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be working.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will no doubt need some support in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It might also signify 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 graduation.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the New Kingman Butler AZ colleges you are looking at and find out what kind of support they provide. Many of interior designer colleges provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Big are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the New Kingman Butler AZ schools you are considering what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your New Kingman Butler home, go to the college and attend a few classes. While there speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior designer school you select offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near New Kingman Butler AZ, make sure that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Find Out More About Online Interior Design Courses

Choose in the Best New Kingman Butler Interior Design College

Selecting the right interior design program is an important initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and fulfilling occupation. Locating a school where you will receive your education and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a difficult job no matter what major you have chosen. As with any undertaking to acquire a higher education, there are a number of things to think about before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design college are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. But it is still important that you complete 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 right final selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in New Kingman Butler Arizona.