Interior Designer Program
How to Enroll in the Best One Near Casa Grande Arizona
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design degree program near Casa Grande AZ, it's time to start the process of choosing a school. It's imperative that you get the best available training to put your skills to work, even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing examination also. So in order to evaluate and compare each college you are reviewing prior to making your final selection it's vital that you do the appropriate research. But just where do you begin? Many future students will start their research by looking for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are key factors when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into consideration also. We will cover those topics and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But first, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class alternatives are offered.
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Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Often people confuse interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The key distinction between them is the level of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or living spaces attractive as well as functional. On some occasions they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Casa Grande AZ may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers normally focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.
There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, including lighting, color schemes, 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 principles, Casa Grande AZ interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to acquire the training necessary to start your new career in Casa Grande AZ. Your choice will no doubt be driven by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in a number of states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum level of training needed to enter the profession. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are available at numerous Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can normally obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that provide more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative components 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 options 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 want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be needed before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.
Online Interior Designer Colleges
For students who to study in the comfort of their Casa Grande AZ homes, there are accredited online interior design programs. Studying online can be a great alternative for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For some students online programs may be the only option if no interior design schools are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Additional costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated also. Just be sure that the program you select is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Design Programs
After you have chosen the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of reviewing your college options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the school needs to be within commuting distance from your Casa Grande AZ home. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will decrease your choices as well. But choosing the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you should look at as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the program. Below are a few concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others to help you assess and ultimately pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's essential to confirm that the interior designer school and program that you choose has earned accreditation from 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). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive assessment of their teachers and programs. 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 confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Casa Grande AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prepare 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) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States requiring licensing, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. So besides furnishing an exceptional education, the Casa Grande AZ school you enroll in should also provide the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be working.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design field and its students are sought after. It may also indicate that the college has a large network of Casa Grande AZ business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Casa Grande AZ colleges you are evaluating and ask what kind of aid they provide. Many of interior design colleges provide financial aid to their incoming students. Certain schools offer partial scholarships and others provide support in securing federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Casa Grande AZ programs you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Casa Grande home, go to the college and monitor a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior design college you enroll in offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Casa Grande AZ, verify that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Right Casa Grande Interior Design School
Selecting the right interior design program is a crucial initial step toward launching your career in this creative and fulfilling occupation. Locating a college where you will receive your training and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a difficult job no matter what major you have chosen. As with any undertaking to acquire a higher education, there are a number of factors to think about before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the design college and program are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. It is still essential that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design programs so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Casa Grande Arizona.