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How to Choose the Right Interior Designer Program near Page Arizona

Page Arizona interior designed living room with viewOnce you have decided to enroll in an interior design degree program near Page AZ, it's time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's important that you get the right training to put your talents to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it's vital that you perform the appropriate research so that you can analyze and compare each school that you are looking at prior to making your ultimate choice. But just where do you begin? Some prospective students will kick off their research by looking for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are relevant factors when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation need to be taken into account also. We will address those topics and other important questions that you must ask 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 training choices are available.

Interior Decoration and Interior Design

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Some people mistake interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The main distinction between the two is the amount of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates 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 taught to make living or work spaces functional as well as attractive. On some projects they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Page AZ may specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any room of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers frequently concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality 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 may focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary concern.

There are various areas of residential and commercial 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 choosing carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui concepts, Page AZ interior designers implement a wide range of skills that contribute to their final creations.

Interior Design Degree Programs

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There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to get the training needed to launch your new profession in Page AZ. Your selection will undoubtedly be motivated by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make certain to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in some states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum amount of training required to enter the profession. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are offered at a number of Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that supply more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative components of the trade needed 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 2 year programs furnish advanced design training after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mostly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.

To work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be needed before a candidate can take the licensing examination.

Interior Design Online Programs

For students who to study in the comfort of their Page AZ homes, there are accredited online interior design programs. Attending classes online can be a good alternative for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For many students online programs may be the only alternative if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Added expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the school you choose is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the right option for you.

Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Schools

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After you have selected the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of analyzing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the school needs to be within commuting distance from your Page AZ residence. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But choosing the cheapest college or the one that is closest to your house are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you should look at also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the colleges you are considering to get those answers in addition to others to help you examine and ultimately select the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's important to verify that the interior designer college and program that you select has been accredited by either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding evaluation of their programs and teachers. Just verify that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are excellent, it may also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Page AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.

Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, 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 in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States mandating licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to providing an exceptional education, the Page AZ school you choose should also furnish the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be working.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will probably want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It could also indicate that the college has a significant network of Page AZ business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Page AZ schools you are reviewing and find out what type of aid they provide. Many of interior design programs provide financial assistance to their new students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide support in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Small are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Page AZ programs you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Page home, go to the college and monitor a few classes. While there speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior designer college you select provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Page AZ, make certain that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.

Learn More About Page Interior Design Programs

Enroll in the Best Page Interior Design Program

Picking the right interior design school is a crucial initial step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding occupation. Searching for a school where you will obtain your education and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a challenging job no matter what field you have selected. As with any endeavor to receive an advanced education, there are several things to consider before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, confirm that the design college and program are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. But it is still imperative that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions presented 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 quality training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Page Arizona.