Interior Designer School
How to Enroll in the Best One Near Anthem Arizona
So it’s time to start the task of selecting an interior design school near Anthem AZ once you have made a career decision to become an interior designer. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's imperative that you get the proper training to put your talents to work. And since interior designers must be licensed in several states, the school you select should prep you to pass any required licensing exam as well as provide the proper training for your specialty. So it's essential you carry out the proper research in order to evaluate and compare each school that you are looking at before you make your ultimate choice. But where do you begin? When looking for interior design programs, many potential students begin by zeroing in on those that are nearest to their homes with the lowest tuition. But keep in mind, a school is not always the best option just because it has the lowest tuition or is located closest to your home. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into account as well. We will discuss those issues 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 class options are available.
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Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Often people mistake interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The key distinction between them is the amount of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a skill 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 Bachelor's or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or residential spaces attractive as well as functional. On many occasions they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are two general areas that an interior designer in Anthem AZ may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any room of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers often focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms 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 numerous areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui concepts, Anthem AZ interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that contribute to their final creations.
Interior Designer Degrees
There are four degree options available in interior design to get the training required to begin your new profession in Anthem AZ. Your choice will no doubt be influenced by your career objectives as well as the money and time that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt 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) examination required in several states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum amount of education required to enter the field. They take about two years to finish and programs are available at many Arizona community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can usually obtain entry level jobs 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 creative and technical components of the business required 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 two year programs provide advanced design training after acquiring a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialty majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are primarily for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The 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", many states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be required before a candidate can take the licensing exam.
Interior Designer Online Colleges
For those who wish to study in the convenience of their Anthem AZ homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Attending classes online can be a great 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 convenient for the student. For a number of students online colleges may be the sole alternative if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the college you enroll in is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the discipline to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the right alternative for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Design Colleges
When you have chosen the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of evaluating your school options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the college must be within driving distance from your Anthem AZ home. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will decrease your options as well. But selecting the most affordable college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you should look at also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a few questions that you may want to ask the schools you are looking at to obtain those answers as well as others to help you assess and subsequently pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's important to make sure that the interior designer school and program that you choose has been accredited by 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). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive assessment of their instructors and programs. Just confirm 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 school and the quality of the education are outstanding, it may also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Anthem AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
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) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required also. Therefore besides providing an exceptional education, the Anthem AZ program you enroll in should also provide the proper 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 College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the programs 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 regard within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It may also indicate that the school has a sizable network of Anthem AZ business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Anthem AZ schools you are evaluating and find out what type of assistance they provide. A number of interior design colleges offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in acquiring grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that selecting 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 aid.
How Small are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Anthem AZ programs you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Anthem home, go to the college and monitor a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior design school you choose provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Anthem AZ, make certain that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Choose the Best Anthem Interior Design College
Picking the ideal interior designer college is a crucial first step toward launching your career in this artistic and rewarding occupation. Searching for a school where you will obtain your training and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a challenging job regardless of what field you have selected. As with any undertaking to receive an advanced education, there are a number of things to consider before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. It is still essential that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest 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 right ultimate selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Anthem Arizona.