How to Pick the Right Interior Designer Course near Nogales Arizona
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer school near Nogales AZ, it's time to begin 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 right training to put your natural abilities 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 examination also. So it's vital that you perform the appropriate research in order to analyze and compare each college that you are reviewing prior to making your final decision. But just where do you begin? Some potential students will launch their research by searching for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are important issues when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into account also. We will address those issues and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But before we do, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class options are available.
Interior Decoration and Interior Design
Many people mistake interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The principal distinction between them is the level of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or living spaces functional as well as attractive. On many projects they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are two general areas that an interior designer in Nogales AZ may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers frequently focus predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.
There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, including color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. They have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui concepts, Nogales AZ interior designers employ a wide range of skills that contribute to their final designs.
Interior Design Degrees
There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to acquire the training required to begin your new career in Nogales AZ. Your selection will no doubt be influenced by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, be sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in a number of states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits 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 training needed to enter the profession. They take about two years to complete and programs are offered at a number of Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that furnish more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative facets of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced design training after achieving a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide alternatives in specialty majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are largely for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are generally completed in three to five years.
To work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be required before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Programs
For students who to study in the convenience of their Nogales AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design programs. Attending classes online can be a good alternative for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For some students online programs may be the sole option if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Additional expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make certain 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 programs may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the perfect option for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Designer Schools
After you have decided on the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of evaluating your school options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the campus needs to be within commuting distance from your Nogales AZ residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But picking the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you should look at as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a few questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and ultimately select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's necessary to confirm that the interior design program and college that you choose has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive assessment of their programs and instructors. Just make sure 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 college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it might also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Nogales AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States calling for licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required also. Therefore in addition to providing an exceptional education, the Nogales AZ school you select should also furnish the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be working.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will probably need some help in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the school 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 Nogales AZ business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Nogales AZ colleges you are evaluating and ask what type of assistance they provide. A number of interior designer programs provide financial aid to their incoming students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Nogales AZ colleges you are reviewing what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Nogales home, visit the school and monitor a few classes. While there talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior design program you choose offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Nogales AZ, confirm that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose in the Best Nogales Interior Design College
Choosing the right interior designer program is an important first step toward launching your career in this artistic and fulfilling occupation. Finding a college where you will obtain your training and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a challenging task regardless of what field you have decided on. As with any endeavor to attain an advanced education, there are many things to think about before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. However it is still essential that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Nogales Arizona.