Interior Designer School
How to Pick the Best One Near Casa Grande Arizona
So it’s time to start the task of selecting an interior design school near Casa Grande AZ now that you have made a career decision to become an interior designer. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's important that you get the right training to put your skills to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So in order to assess and compare each program you are reviewing before you make your final selection it's crucial that you carry out the proper due diligence. But just how do you approach enrolling in the right school? When looking for interior design schools, many potential students start by targeting those that are closest to their homes with the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are important variables when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. There are several other factors that you should evaluate when reviewing schools, for example reputation and accreditation. We will address those issues and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, 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 Compared to Interior Decoration
Often people mistake interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The main distinction between them is the amount of training required. Anyone can do business 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 numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or living spaces attractive as well as functional. On some projects they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Casa Grande AZ may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any room of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers frequently concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might 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, such as color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui principles, Casa Grande AZ interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
Interior Design Degree Options
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to acquire the training needed to start your new profession in Casa Grande AZ. Your choice will undoubtedly be motivated by your career objectives as well as 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 pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in a number of states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum amount of training required to enter the field. They take roughly two years to complete and programs are available at numerous Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that furnish more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative aspects of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced design training 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 improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are mainly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be needed before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Courses
For anyone wishing' to attend classes in the comfort of their Casa Grande AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design classes. Studying online can be a good option for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For some students online schools may be the only option if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Additional expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated also. Just make certain that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, 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 option for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Design Schools
When you have chosen the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of analyzing your school options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the school needs to be within commuting distance from your Casa Grande AZ residence. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will limit your options as well. But choosing the cheapest school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you need to look at also, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a list of questions that you may want to address with the schools you are looking at to get those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and subsequently select the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's necessary to confirm that the interior designer program and college that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected 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 evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just make sure that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Casa Grande AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would require 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 calling for licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to providing an exceptional education, the Casa Grande AZ college you select should also provide the proper training to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be working.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will no doubt need some support in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its students are sought after. It could also signify that the college has a significant network of Casa Grande AZ business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial aid offices for the Casa Grande AZ colleges you are reviewing and ask what kind of assistance they provide. Many of interior design colleges offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Some schools offer partial scholarships and others provide support in securing grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Casa Grande AZ schools you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Casa Grande home, go to the school and attend a couple of classes. While there speak with some 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 Fit your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior design program you choose offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Casa Grande AZ, make sure that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Best Casa Grande Interior Design School
Choosing the right interior design school is a critical initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and gratifying profession. Finding a school where you will obtain your training and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a difficult task regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to acquire a higher education, there are several things to consider before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, verify that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the profession. It is still important that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Casa Grande Arizona.