Interior Designer Degree Program
How to Enroll in the Best One Near Coolidge Arizona
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near Coolidge AZ, it's time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's essential that you obtain the appropriate training to put your talents to work. And since several states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So in order to evaluate and compare each program you are considering before you make your ultimate selection it's essential that you carry out the proper research. But just how do you go about finding the right program? Many potential students will begin their research by searching for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are key factors when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. There are many other factors that you should evaluate when comparing schools, for instance accreditation and reputation. We will discuss those issues and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But before we do, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class options are offered.
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Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The key difference between them is the level of education required. Anyone 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, working as an interior designer requires formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make living or work areas attractive as well as functional. On some occasions they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are two general areas that an interior designer in Coolidge AZ can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any room of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers frequently concentrate predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the main consideration.
There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, including color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui principles, Coolidge AZ interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
Interior Designer Degree Options
There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to acquire the training required to start your new profession in Coolidge AZ. Your selection will no doubt be driven by your career objectives in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, be sure to choose 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 benefits of accreditation later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum level of education needed to enter the profession. They take approximately 2 years to complete and programs are available at a number of Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative facets 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 job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These two year programs provide advanced design training after acquiring the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer options in specialty 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 university or college level. The programs vary in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be called for before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Designer Online Classes
For anyone wishing' to study in the comfort of their Coolidge AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design colleges. Studying online can be a good option for those students that are working or have hectic 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 a number of students online schools may be the only alternative if no interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Additional costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the school you pick is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the discipline to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the right option for you.
What to Ask Interior Design Programs
Once you have chosen the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of assessing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the campus must be within commuting distance from your Coolidge AZ home. Naturally if you have decided on attending a school online, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will limit your choices as well. But picking the least expensive college or the one that is closest to home are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you need to look at also, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a few concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and subsequently choose the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's essential to confirm that the interior design school and program that you select has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. 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 gone through a demanding assessment of their programs and teachers. Just make sure 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 verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are outstanding, it may also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Coolidge AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do mandate that interior designers get 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 college. And in some of those States calling for licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required as well. So aside from furnishing an exceptional education, the Coolidge AZ program you select should also provide the proper education to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will probably want some help in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It may also signify that the school has a sizable network of Coolidge AZ business connections where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial aid departments for the Coolidge AZ schools you are evaluating and find out what type of aid they provide. A number of interior designer schools provide financial aid to their incoming students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide assistance in acquiring grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Coolidge AZ schools you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Coolidge home, visit the campus and sit in on a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior design school you choose provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Coolidge AZ, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Find Out More About Becoming an Interior Designer in Coolidge
Choose the Best Coolidge Interior Design School
Choosing the ideal interior designer college is an important initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and fulfilling profession. Searching for a college where you will receive your education and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a difficult task no matter what major you have selected. As with any endeavor to receive a higher education, there are many points to consider before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, confirm that the design college and program are both accredited and highly esteemed in the business. It is still imperative that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Coolidge Arizona.
Coolidge Interior Design Schools | Coolidge Interior Design Programs