How to Enroll in the Best Interior Design School near Page Arizona
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design degree program 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 important that you receive the appropriate training to put your skills to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's essential that you carry out the appropriate research so that you can evaluate and compare each program that you are considering before you make your ultimate selection. But just where do you begin? A number of potential students will begin their research by searching for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are key issues when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation must be taken into consideration also. We will discuss those issues and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are looking at 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 choices are offered.
Interior Decoration vs Interior Design
Often people confuse interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The primary difference between the two is the amount of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. However, doing business as an interior designer requires formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or residential spaces attractive as well as functional. On various projects they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general categories 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 basically any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers normally concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may focus more on functionality over appearance as the main consideration.
There are numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, including lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They 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 concepts, Page AZ interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
Interior Designer Degree Options
There are four degree options offered in interior design to obtain the training required to begin your new profession in Page AZ. Your decision will no doubt be driven by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required 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 benefits of accreditation later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum amount of training needed to enter the field. They take approximately 2 years to complete and programs are offered at many Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative aspects 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 supply advanced design training after acquiring a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are largely for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are usually completed in three to five years.
To work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be needed before an applicant can take the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Programs
For individuals who wish to study in the convenience of their Page AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design classes. Studying online can be an excellent solution for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For some 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 study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the school you select is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the perfect option for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
After you have chosen the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of analyzing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the school needs to be within commuting distance from your Page AZ home. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will decrease your choices as well. But choosing the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you need to look at as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Below are a few concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and subsequently choose the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's imperative to make sure that the interior design program and college that you select has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Page AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States calling for licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore besides providing an exceptional education, the Page AZ school you enroll in should also furnish the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be working.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some support in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It may also indicate that the college has a significant network of Page AZ business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Page AZ schools you are evaluating and find out what kind of assistance they offer. A number of interior design schools offer financial aid to their incoming students. Some schools offer partial scholarships while others provide support in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. Often a school 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 intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Page AZ schools you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Page home, go to the campus and monitor a couple of 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, make certain that the interior designer college you enroll in provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Page AZ, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right Page Interior Design College
Choosing the right interior design program is an important initial step toward starting your career in this creative and gratifying profession. Locating a school where you will obtain your education and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult job no matter what field you have decided on. As with any endeavor to acquire a higher education, there are a number of things to think about before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. But it is still essential that you conduct 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 right final selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Page Arizona.