Interior Designer Degree Program
How to Pick the Best One Near Buckeye Arizona
So it’s time to begin the process of picking an interior design school near Buckeye AZ once you have made a career choice to become an interior designer. It's important that you get the appropriate training to put your skills to work, even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential interiors. And since some states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it's crucial you carry out the appropriate research in order to evaluate and compare each college that you are looking at before you make your ultimate decision. But just how do you go about enrolling in the right school? Some future students will start their research by searching for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. 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. There are a number of other factors that you should evaluate when analyzing schools, such as reputation and accreditation. We will cover those issues and other important questions that you should be asking 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 training options are offered.
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Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Many people confuse interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The key difference between the two is the level 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 areas. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make living or work 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 Buckeye AZ can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any room of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When working on public or commercial areas, designers frequently concentrate predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.
There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. They must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui concepts, Buckeye AZ interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final creations.
Interior Design Degrees
There are four degree options offered in interior design to acquire the training needed to start your new profession in Buckeye AZ. Your choice will no doubt be influenced by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, make sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in several states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum amount of education required to enter the profession. They take about two years to finish and programs are offered at a number of Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that deliver more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical components of the business required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced design training after achieving the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs 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", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be needed before an applicant can take the licensing examination.
Online Interior Designer Colleges
For those who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their Buckeye AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design schools. Studying online can be a great alternative for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For many students online schools may be the only option if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Additional costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the school you enroll in is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the dedication to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the right alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Design Colleges
Once you have selected the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of analyzing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the campus needs to be within commuting distance from your Buckeye AZ residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will narrow down your options as well. But picking the most affordable school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you need to consider as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Below are a few concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you assess and subsequently choose the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's important to verify that the interior design program and school that you select has been accredited by 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). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous assessment of their instructors and programs. Just verify 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 establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are outstanding, it might also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Buckeye AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, 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 program. And in several of those States requiring licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required as well. So in addition to furnishing an excellent education, the Buckeye AZ school you enroll in should also furnish the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will probably want some help in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its graduates are in demand. It may also signify that the college has a significant network of Buckeye AZ business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Buckeye AZ colleges you are looking at and ask what kind of assistance they provide. Many of interior designer schools provide financial aid to their incoming students. Various schools provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in obtaining grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Buckeye AZ colleges you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Buckeye home, visit the school and sit in on a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and ask 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 Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior designer school you select offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Buckeye AZ, make certain that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Buckeye Interior Design College
Choosing the ideal interior designer program is a crucial initial step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding profession. Searching for a school where you will obtain your education and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a difficult job no matter what field you have chosen. As with any undertaking to receive an advanced education, there are many points to consider before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. It is still imperative that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design programs so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with quality training and your determination to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Buckeye Arizona.