Interior Designer School
How to Find the Best One Near Douglas Arizona
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design college near Douglas AZ, it's time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's imperative that you receive the proper training to put your skills to work. And because interior designers are licensed in a number of states, the college you select should prepare you to pass any required licensing exam and provide the necessary training for your specialty. So it's crucial you carry out the appropriate research so that you can evaluate and compare each school that you are considering prior to making your final decision. But just how do you undertake enrolling in the right school? When looking for interior design programs, the majority of students start by zeroing in on those that are closest to their homes with the cheapest tuition. However, a school is not always the right option just because it happens to have a campus near your home or is lower in cost. There are a number of other considerations that you should evaluate when comparing schools, such as accreditation and reputation. We will address those issues 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 talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training options are available.
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Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The principal distinction between them is the level of education required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, conducting 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 work or residential spaces functional as well as attractive. On some occasions they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are two general areas that an interior designer in Douglas AZ may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any area of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers normally concentrate primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the primary concern.
There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui principles, Douglas AZ interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that help bring about their final creations.
Interior Designer Degrees
There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to receive the training required to start your new profession in Douglas AZ. Your selection will no doubt be driven by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, make certain to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in several states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum amount of training needed to enter the field. They take approximately 2 years to complete and programs are offered at a number of Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that provide more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative components of the business required to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced training in design after achieving the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialty majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mostly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be needed before a candidate can take the licensing exam.
Online Interior Design Schools
For anyone wishing' to attend classes in the convenience of their Douglas AZ homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Studying online can be a great alternative for those students that are employed or have hectic 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 some students online schools may be the only option if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the program you pick is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency, 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 distance or online learning. If you have the dedication to acquire 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 Designer Colleges
Once you have chosen the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the task of reviewing your college options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the college needs to be within driving distance from your Douglas AZ home. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will decrease 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 things that you should consider as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Below are a list of questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are looking at to obtain those answers as well as others to help you examine and ultimately pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's important to verify that the interior designer program and school that you select has been accredited by either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous evaluation of their teachers 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 agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are excellent, it might also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Douglas AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States calling for licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to furnishing an excellent education, the Douglas AZ college you enroll in should also furnish the proper training to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet 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 obtained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some assistance in finding your first job. 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 higher rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design field and its graduates are in demand. It may also signify that the school has a substantial network of Douglas AZ business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Douglas AZ colleges you are reviewing and find out what type of aid they provide. Many of interior design programs provide financial aid to their new students. Various schools offer partial scholarships while others provide help in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Douglas AZ schools you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Douglas home, visit the school and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior designer school you enroll in offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Douglas AZ, verify that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right Douglas Interior Design College
Choosing the ideal interior design college is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and fulfilling occupation. Searching for a college where you will obtain your education and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a challenging task regardless of what field you have chosen. As with any undertaking to receive a higher education, there are many factors to consider before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, make sure that the design college and program are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. It is still imperative that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design programs so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Douglas Arizona.