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How to Enroll in the Best Interior Designer School near Page Arizona

Page Arizona interior designed living room with entertainment centerNow that you have decided to enroll in an interior design college near Page 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 obtain the appropriate training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it's vital that you perform the proper research in order to evaluate and compare each program that you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision. But where do you start? Many potential students will launch their research by looking for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are key issues when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation need to be taken into consideration also. We will discuss those topics and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are reviewing 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 offered.

Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design

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Many people confuse interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The principal difference 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 skill for decorating interior areas. However, working as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or living areas functional as well as attractive. On many projects they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Page AZ may specialize in:

  • Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any room of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers often focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.

There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui principles, Page AZ interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that help bring about their final designs.

Interior Design Degrees

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There are four degree options offered in interior design to get the training needed to launch your new profession in Page AZ. Your decision will undoubtedly be driven by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in some states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum amount of training required to enter the profession. They take approximately two years to complete and programs are offered at many Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain 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 cover the creative and technical components of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs supply advanced training in design after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives 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. Doctorate degrees are primarily 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 3 to 5 years.

In order to work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be needed before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.

Interior Design Online Programs

For anyone wishing' to attend classes in the convenience of their Page AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design classes. Attending classes online can be a great solution for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For some students online schools may be the sole alternative if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Added expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the program you pick is accredited by a respected accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the dedication to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the right option for you.

What to Ask Interior Designer Schools

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When you have chosen the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the task of reviewing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the school needs to be within driving distance from your Page AZ home. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will narrow down your options as well. But choosing the cheapest school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you need to look at also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a list of questions that you may want to address with the schools you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others to help you examine and ultimately select the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's imperative to verify that the interior designer program and college that you select has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous evaluation 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 college and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Page AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.

Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States mandating licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required also. Therefore in addition to furnishing an outstanding education, the Page AZ school you enroll in should also provide the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy 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 earned your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some help in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It could also indicate that the school has a significant network of Page AZ business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Page AZ colleges you are evaluating and find out what kind of aid they offer. Many of interior design colleges offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide support in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Small are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Page AZ programs you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Page home, visit the campus and attend a couple of classes. While there talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior designer program you choose offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Page AZ, verify that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.

Learn More About Online Interior Design Colleges

Enroll in the Best Page Interior Design School

Choosing the right interior designer school is an important first step toward launching your career in this artistic and rewarding profession. Locating a college where you will obtain your training and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a difficult job regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any undertaking to acquire a higher education, there are many points to think about before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design college are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. However it is still imperative that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the right final selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Page Arizona.