How to Find the Right Interior Designer Course near Page Arizona
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near Page 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 skills to work. And since some states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's vital that you carry out the appropriate research so that you can evaluate and compare each program that you are reviewing before you make your ultimate selection. But where do you begin? A number of future students will start their research by searching for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are important variables 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 topics and other crucial questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But before we do, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training options are available.
Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design
Many people mistake interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The main difference between the two is the amount of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, working as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or residential spaces functional as well as attractive. On some projects they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are two broad categories that an interior designer in Page AZ may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any room of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers frequently focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may focus more on functionality over looks as the main consideration.
There are numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, for example color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui principles, Page AZ interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to receive the training necessary to start your new career in Page AZ. Your decision will no doubt be motivated by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in a number of states. More will be addressed 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 level of training required to enter the field. They take approximately two years to complete and programs are available at numerous Arizona community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can usually obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that provide more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative components of the business 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 training in design after achieving the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives in specialized majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mainly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary in length but are typically completed in three to five years.
To work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be required before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Programs
For students who to attend classes in the convenience of their Page AZ homes, there are accredited online interior design colleges. Attending classes online can be a great solution for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. 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 option if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Additional expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the college you enroll in is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, 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 distance or online education. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the perfect alternative for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Design Programs
After you have selected the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of analyzing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the college must be within driving distance from your Page AZ residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But choosing the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other things that you should look at as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are looking at to obtain those answers as well as others to help you examine and subsequently choose the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's imperative to make sure that the interior designer college and program that you choose has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment of their instructors and programs. Just make sure that both the college and the degree program 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 excellent, it might also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Page AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the School Prep 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 in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore aside from providing an exceptional education, the Page AZ college you enroll in should also provide the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some support in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its students are sought after. It could also signify that the school has a large network of Page AZ business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial aid offices for the Page AZ colleges you are looking at and ask what type of support they provide. A number of interior design colleges provide financial aid to their new students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships and others provide help in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Big 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. Ask the Page AZ colleges you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Page home, visit the college and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior design program you select offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Page AZ, confirm that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Enroll in the Right Page Interior Design College
Selecting the right interior design college is an important initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and fulfilling profession. Locating a college where you will obtain your training and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a daunting task no matter what field you have chosen. As with any undertaking to attain a higher education, there are many points to consider before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the profession. However it is still important that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design schools so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Page Arizona.