Interior Designer College
How to Find the Right One Near Drexel Heights Arizona
So it’s time to start the process of selecting an interior design school near Drexel Heights AZ once you have made a career choice to become an interior designer. It's imperative that you get the best available training to put your skills to work, even if you have always had a knack for designing commercial or residential interiors. And because interior designers are licensed in a number of states, the college you choose should prepare you to pass any required licensing test as well as provide the necessary training for your specialty. So in order to evaluate and compare each school you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection it's crucial that you do the appropriate due diligence. But just where do you start? When checking out interior design programs, the majority of students start by targeting those that are closest to their homes with the lowest tuition. While cost and location are key issues when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into account also. We will cover those topics and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at 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 alternatives are available.
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Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The principal difference between the two is the amount of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, working as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or residential spaces attractive as well as functional. On various occasions they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Drexel Heights AZ may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any room of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers often focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.
There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. They need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui principles, Drexel Heights AZ interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final creations.
Interior Design Degrees
There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to get the training needed to launch your new career in Drexel Heights AZ. Your choice will no doubt be influenced by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in several states. More will be addressed 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 provide the minimum level of training required to enter the field. They take about 2 years to finish and programs are available at a number of Arizona community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can commonly obtain 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 aspects of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These two year programs supply advanced design training after acquiring a 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 advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral 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 normally completed in three to five years.
To work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be needed before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.
Interior Designer Online Degree Programs
For anyone wishing' to study in the convenience of their Drexel Heights AZ homes, there are accredited online interior design colleges. Studying online can be an excellent solution for those students that are working or have busy 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 many students online colleges may be the sole option if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Added expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the program 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 acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the dedication to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Design Schools
Once you have decided on the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of reviewing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the campus needs to be within driving distance from your Drexel Heights AZ home. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will limit your choices as well. But selecting the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you should look at as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a few questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are reviewing to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and subsequently choose the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's imperative to verify that the interior design school and program that you enroll in has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive evaluation of their programs and teachers. Just verify 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 verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Drexel Heights AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, 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 as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States requiring licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required also. So in addition to furnishing an outstanding education, the Drexel Heights AZ program you select should also furnish the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be working.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will probably want some help in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design trade and its students are sought after. It might also indicate that the college has a substantial network of Drexel Heights AZ business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Drexel Heights AZ schools you are evaluating and ask what kind of aid they provide. Many of interior design schools offer financial aid to their new students. Certain schools offer partial scholarships and others provide support in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Drexel Heights AZ colleges you are considering what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Drexel Heights home, visit the college and attend a few classes. While there talk with some students and find out 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? Finally, make sure that the interior designer program you choose provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Drexel Heights AZ, make certain that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Find Out More About Studying to Become an Interior Designer in Drexel Heights
Enroll in the Right Drexel Heights Interior Design School
Choosing the right interior designer program is a crucial first step toward starting your career in this artistic and rewarding profession. Locating a school where you will obtain your training and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult job no matter what field you have selected. As with any undertaking to acquire an advanced education, there are many factors to consider before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the field. It is still important that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Drexel Heights Arizona.
Drexel Heights Interior Design Programs | Drexel Heights Interior Design Courses