Interior Designer Program
How to Enroll in the Best One Near Drexel Heights Arizona
So it’s time to start the process of choosing an interior design school near Drexel Heights AZ once you have made a career choice to study to be an interior designer. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's important that you get the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And because interior designers must be 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 it's crucial you carry out the appropriate research so that you can analyze and compare each college that you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision. But just how do you approach enrolling in the right school? Many prospective students will launch their research by searching for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition costs. However, a school is not always the right option just because it has the lowest tuition or is located closest to your home. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into consideration as well. We will address those issues and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are researching 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 offered.
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Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Many people confuse interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The key distinction between the two is the amount of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. However, working as an interior designer requires formal training and in a number of 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 areas attractive as well as functional. On many occasions they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Drexel Heights AZ can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial areas, designers often concentrate predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may focus more on functionality over looks as the main concern.
There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, such as color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. They have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui principles, Drexel Heights AZ interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
Interior Designer Degrees
There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to acquire the training needed to launch your new career in Drexel Heights AZ. Your choice will undoubtedly be motivated by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in a number of states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum level of education needed to enter the field. They take roughly two years to finish and programs are available at many Arizona community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can usually obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that provide more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative components of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a college graduate in order to obtain 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 provide options 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 their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are primarily for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary 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 degree programs become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be needed before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Colleges
For individuals who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their Drexel Heights AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design colleges. Attending classes online can be an excellent option for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For a number of students online colleges may be the only alternative if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Additional expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the college you select 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 learning. If you have the discipline to obtain your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the perfect option for you.
What to Ask Interior Design Programs
When you have decided on the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of assessing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the school needs to be within driving distance from your Drexel Heights AZ residence. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will limit your choices also. But selecting the most affordable school or the one that is closest to home are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you need to consider also, such as the accreditation and reputation 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 pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's important to make sure that the interior design program and college that you select has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just verify that both the college and the degree program 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 education are exceptional, it might also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Drexel Heights AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of occupational experience may be required also. So in addition to furnishing an exceptional education, the Drexel Heights AZ program you choose should also provide the proper training to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It might also signify that the school has a significant network of Drexel Heights AZ business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Drexel Heights AZ colleges you are reviewing and ask what type of support they provide. Many of interior design schools provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships and others provide help in securing grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Drexel Heights AZ colleges you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Drexel Heights home, go to the school and monitor a couple of classes. While there speak 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 Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior design college you select offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Drexel Heights AZ, confirm that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right Drexel Heights Interior Design School
Choosing the right interior design school is a crucial initial step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding occupation. Finding a school where you will receive your education and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a difficult task regardless of what major you have selected. As with any endeavor to receive a higher education, there are a number of points to think about before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, check that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. It is still essential 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 evaluate and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Drexel Heights Arizona.