How to Find the Best Interior Designer School near Page Arizona
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Page AZ, it's time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's imperative that you get the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it's crucial that you carry out the appropriate research so that you can analyze and compare each program that you are reviewing before you make your final decision. But just where do you begin? Many potential students will launch their research by looking for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are important issues when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into consideration as well. We will address those topics and other vital questions that you must ask 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 alternatives are offered.
Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The main difference between the two is the level of education required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, 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 taught to make living or work spaces functional as well as attractive. On various occasions they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad areas that an interior designer in Page AZ can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers frequently concentrate predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.
There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, including color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui concepts, Page AZ interior designers employ a wide range of skills that help bring about their final designs.
Interior Designer Degrees
There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to get the training required to launch your new career in Page AZ. Your decision will no doubt be driven by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, make certain to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in several states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum amount of training required to enter the profession. They take about two years to complete and programs are offered at numerous Arizona community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can usually obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that furnish more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative facets 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 furnish advanced design training after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives in specialized majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mainly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are normally completed in three to five years.
In order to work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be called for before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Programs
For those who wish to study in the comfort of their Page AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design programs. Studying online can be a great alternative for those students that are working or have hectic 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 colleges may be the sole alternative if no interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Added expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make sure that the college you pick is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, 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 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 perfect option for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Design Colleges
After you have chosen the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of reviewing your school options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the school must be within commuting distance from your Page AZ residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will decrease your choices also. But selecting the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to home are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you should look at as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a few questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are considering to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and ultimately select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's essential to confirm that the interior design school and program that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding evaluation of their programs and instructors. 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 confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when securing 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 positions.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do mandate that interior designers become 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 calling for licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required also. So besides providing an exceptional education, the Page AZ college you enroll in should also furnish the proper education to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will probably need some support in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its students are sought after. It might also signify that the school has a substantial network of Page AZ business connections where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Page AZ colleges you are looking at and ask what type of assistance they provide. Many of interior design programs offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Page AZ colleges you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Page home, visit the school and attend a few classes. While there speak with some 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 Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior designer college you enroll in provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Page AZ, confirm that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Choose in the Best Page Interior Design College
Choosing the right interior design school is a crucial initial step toward launching your career in this creative and fulfilling profession. Finding a college where you will receive your education and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a difficult task regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to acquire a higher education, there are a number of points to think about before choosing a school, program, or course. At a minimum, verify that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the profession. But it is still important that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design programs so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Page Arizona.