Interior Designer Degree
How to Choose the Right One Near Apache Junction Arizona
So it’s time to begin the task of choosing an interior design school near Apache Junction AZ now that you have made a career decision to become an interior designer. It's important that you get the best available training to put your skills to work, even if you have always had a knack for designing residential or commercial interiors. And because interior designers are licensed in several states, the college you select should prep you to pass any required licensing test and provide the necessary training for your specialty. So in order to analyze and compare each college you are reviewing before you make your ultimate decision it's essential that you carry out the proper research. But just how do you approach finding the right program? Many future students will launch their research by looking for interior design courses near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are key factors when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into account also. We will discuss those issues and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But before we do, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class alternatives are offered.
IT TAKES JUST A FEW MINUTES TO START YOUR INTERIOR DESIGN CAREER BELOW!
Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Many people mistake interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The key distinction 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 talent for decorating interior spaces. However, working as an interior designer requires formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or residential spaces functional as well as attractive. On some occasions they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Apache Junction AZ may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers often concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the main consideration.
There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, including lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers need to 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, Apache Junction AZ interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that contribute to their final designs.
Interior Designer Degree Options
There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to receive the training necessary to start your new profession in Apache Junction AZ. Your selection will undoubtedly be motivated by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in some states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum level of training needed to enter the profession. They take approximately two years to complete and programs are available at many Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical aspects of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced training in design after acquiring a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer options in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are primarily for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be needed before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.
Online Interior Design Courses
For those who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their Apache Junction AZ homes, there are accredited online interior design degrees. Studying online can be an excellent solution for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed 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 driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Additional expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated also. Just be sure that the college you choose is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the dedication to obtain your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Design Schools
When you have chosen the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of reviewing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the campus has to be within driving distance from your Apache Junction AZ residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will decrease your options as well. But picking the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other things that you should look at as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a few concerns that you may want to address with the colleges 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 Design College Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the interior design program and school that you choose has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. 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 undergone an extensive evaluation of their programs and teachers. Just make sure that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are outstanding, it might also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Apache Junction AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States mandating licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. So in addition to providing an excellent education, the Apache Junction AZ school you enroll in should also provide the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be working.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It might also indicate that the college has a sizable network of Apache Junction AZ business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Apache Junction AZ schools you are evaluating and ask what type of assistance they provide. A number of interior designer colleges offer financial assistance to their new students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in securing grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Apache Junction AZ schools you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Apache Junction home, go to the school and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior designer college you enroll in provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Apache Junction AZ, make certain that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Right Apache Junction Interior Design College
Choosing the right interior designer program is a crucial initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and rewarding occupation. Finding a college where you will receive your training and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting 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 selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. It is still important that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Apache Junction Arizona.