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How to Choose the Right Interior Designer College near Page Arizona

Page Arizona interior designed living roomNow that you have decided to enroll in an interior design college near Page AZ, it's time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's essential that you get the proper training to put your talents to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it's crucial that you do the appropriate research in order to evaluate and compare each college that you are reviewing before you make your final selection. But where do you begin? Many potential students will start their research by looking for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are important issues when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation should be considered as well. We will cover 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 options are offered.

Interior Design vs Interior Decoration

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Many people mistake interior decoration for interior design and conversely. 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 skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make living or work areas attractive as well as functional. On various projects they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are two broad areas that an interior designer in Page AZ can specialize in:

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

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

Interior Design Degree Options

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There are four degree options offered in interior design to acquire the training required to start your new career in Page AZ. Your selection will undoubtedly be influenced by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in a number of states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum amount of training needed to enter the profession. They take approximately two years to finish and programs are available at a number of Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that furnish more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative components 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 two year programs furnish advanced design training after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives in specialized majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are largely for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.

To work as a professional 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 needed before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.

Interior Design Online Programs

For students who to study in the comfort of their Page AZ homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Attending classes online can be a good option 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 convenient for the student. For many students online schools may be the sole alternative if no interior design colleges are within commuting 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 minimized or eliminated also. Just make certain that the program you pick is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, 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 distance or online education. If you have the discipline to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the ideal option for you.

What to Ask Interior Design Schools

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When you have decided on the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of analyzing your school options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the campus needs to be within driving distance from your Page AZ home. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will decrease your options as well. But picking the cheapest college or the one that is closest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you should consider also, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and ultimately choose the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's necessary to make sure that the interior design program and college that you select has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous assessment of their programs and teachers. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are outstanding, it might also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Page AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.

Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate 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 calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from furnishing an outstanding education, the Page AZ college you choose should also provide the proper education to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will no doubt need some support in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design field and its graduates are in demand. It might also indicate that the college has a significant network of Page AZ business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Page AZ schools you are reviewing and ask what type of aid they provide. Many of interior designer colleges offer financial aid to their new students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in securing grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.

How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Page AZ schools you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Page home, go to the school and attend a few classes. While there speak with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior design program you enroll in provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Page AZ, make certain that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.

Find Out More About Page Interior Design Courses

Enroll in the Right Page Interior Design School

Selecting the ideal interior design school is a crucial first step toward starting your career in this creative and gratifying occupation. Finding a school where you will obtain your training and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a challenging job regardless of what field you have decided on. As with any endeavor to attain an advanced education, there are several things 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 regarded in the profession. However it is still important that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions presented 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 quality training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Page Arizona.