Interior Designer School
How to Find the Right One Near Apache Junction Arizona
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design degree program near Apache Junction AZ, it's time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's important that you receive the appropriate training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it's very important you perform the proper research so that you can evaluate and compare each program that you are looking at before you make your ultimate choice. But where do you start? Some prospective students will begin their research by looking for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are relevant issues when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation need to be taken into account as well. We will cover those topics and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are interested in 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 options are available.
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Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Some people confuse interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The principal distinction between the two is the amount of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer requires formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or living spaces attractive as well as functional. On some projects they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Apache Junction AZ can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public areas, designers normally concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may focus more on functionality over appearance as the main 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. They must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Apache Junction AZ interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are four degree options available in interior design to acquire the training necessary to begin your new profession in Apache Junction AZ. Your choice will undoubtedly be driven by your career objectives in addition to the money and time that you have to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in a number of states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum level of education required to enter the profession. They take about 2 years to finish and programs are available at numerous Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that furnish more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical aspects of the business needed to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These two year programs provide advanced training in design after acquiring a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are primarily for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are generally completed in three to five years.
In order to work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be needed before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.
Interior Designer Online Degree Programs
For anyone wishing' to study in the convenience of their Apache Junction AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design schools. Studying online can be an excellent option for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For a number of students online programs may be the sole option if no interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Additional expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated also. Just make sure that the college you choose is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also receive 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 structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the perfect option for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
Now that you have chosen the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of assessing your college options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the school has to be within driving distance from your Apache Junction AZ home. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will decrease your choices also. But picking the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you should consider also, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Below are a list of questions that you may want to ask the programs you are looking at to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and ultimately choose the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's important to verify that the interior design program and school that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected 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 degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Apache Junction AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate 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 as well. Therefore aside from furnishing an exceptional education, the Apache Junction AZ program you select should also provide the appropriate 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? Once you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will probably want some support in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are looking at 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 trade and its students are in demand. It could also indicate that the school has a sizable network of Apache Junction AZ business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Apache Junction AZ colleges you are reviewing and ask what type of aid they offer. A number of interior designer schools provide financial aid to their incoming students. Various schools provide partial scholarships and others provide help in obtaining federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Apache Junction AZ programs you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Apache Junction home, visit the school 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 credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior design program you choose provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Apache Junction AZ, make sure that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Find Out More About How to Become an Interior Designer in Apache Junction
Choose the Right Apache Junction Interior Design School
Selecting the ideal interior design college is a critical initial step toward launching your career in this creative and rewarding occupation. Finding a school where you will obtain your education and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a difficult task regardless of what field you have chosen. As with any undertaking to receive a higher education, there are a number of things to think about before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, make sure that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the profession. It is still imperative that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design schools so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Apache Junction Arizona.
Apache Junction Interior Design Courses | Apache Junction Interior Design Degrees