How to Pick the Right Interior Design Program near Nogales Arizona
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer college near Nogales AZ, it's time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's essential that you receive the right training to put your skills to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's very important that you perform the proper research so that you can assess and compare each college that you are reviewing before you make your ultimate decision. But exactly where do you start? Many potential students will kick off their research by searching for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are relevant variables when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into consideration also. We will discuss those issues and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class alternatives are offered.
Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration
Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The key distinction between the two is the amount of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, 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 work or living spaces functional as well as attractive. On many projects they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Nogales AZ can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any room of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers frequently focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.
There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui principles, Nogales AZ interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final creations.
Interior Design Training Programs
There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to acquire the training necessary to start your new career in Nogales AZ. Your selection will undoubtedly be driven by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in some states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum amount of education required to enter the field. They take approximately two years to finish and programs are available at a number of Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative facets of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential 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 achieving a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives in specialty majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are primarily for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are usually completed in three to five years.
To work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required before an applicant can take the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Programs
For those who wish to study in the comfort of their Nogales AZ homes, there are accredited online interior design programs. Attending classes online can be a good solution for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For many students online colleges may be the sole option if no interior design colleges are within driving 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 minimized or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the school you enroll in 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 learning. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Programs
Once you have selected the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of assessing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the campus must be within driving distance from your Nogales AZ residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will limit your choices as well. But selecting the cheapest 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 need to look at as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are considering to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and subsequently pick the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's imperative to make sure that the interior designer college and program that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. 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 evaluation of their programs and instructors. 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 confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Nogales AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States mandating licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required also. So besides providing an exceptional education, the Nogales AZ program you choose should also furnish the proper 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 School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It may also indicate that the school has a large network of Nogales AZ business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Nogales AZ colleges you are reviewing and find out what kind of support they provide. A number of interior design colleges offer financial aid to their new students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide help in securing federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Nogales AZ schools you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Nogales home, visit the college and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior designer school you enroll in offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Nogales AZ, confirm that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose in the Best Nogales Interior Design School
Picking the right interior designer program is a crucial initial step toward launching your career in this creative and fulfilling profession. Finding a school where you will obtain your education and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a daunting task regardless of what major you have decided on. As with any endeavor to receive an advanced education, there are a number of things to think about before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design college are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. However it is still essential that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Nogales Arizona.