Interior Designer Course
How to Pick the Right One Near Eloy Arizona
So it’s time to begin the task of picking an interior design school near Eloy AZ now that you have made a career choice to become an interior designer. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's imperative that you receive the proper training to put your skills to work. And since interior designers are licensed in several states, the college you choose should prep you to pass any required licensing exam and provide the proper training for your specialty. So in order to assess and compare each college you are looking at prior to making your final decision it's crucial that you perform the appropriate research. But where do you start? When looking for interior design programs, many potential students start by zeroing in on those that are nearest to their homes with the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are key issues when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. There are several other qualifications that you should weigh when reviewing schools, for instance reputation and accreditation. We will discuss those issues and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training options are offered.
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Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Some people confuse interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The principal distinction between them is the amount of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, doing business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or living areas functional as well as attractive. On various occasions they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are two broad categories that an interior designer in Eloy AZ can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers often concentrate predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over appearance as the main consideration.
There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Eloy AZ interior designers employ a wide range of skills that contribute to their final designs.
Interior Design Degrees
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to obtain the training needed to launch your new profession in Eloy AZ. Your selection will undoubtedly be influenced by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, make sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in some states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum amount of education required to enter the profession. They take about 2 years to complete and programs are offered at numerous Arizona community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can typically obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative components of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These 2 year programs furnish 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 improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are largely for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are generally completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be needed before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.
Online Interior Design Colleges
For students who to attend classes in the convenience of their Eloy AZ homes, there are accredited online interior design schools. Studying online can be a great option for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For some students online programs may be the only alternative if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Added costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make sure that the college you choose is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the right option for you.
What to Ask Interior Designer Programs
Once you have decided on the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of reviewing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the school has to be within commuting distance from your Eloy AZ home. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will narrow down your choices also. But choosing the cheapest school or the one that is closest to home are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you should look at as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the program. Below are a few concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are looking at to obtain those answers as well as others to help you compare and subsequently select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's important to confirm that the interior designer college and program that you select has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive assessment of their programs and instructors. 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 training are outstanding, it might also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Eloy AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States calling for licensing, at least 2 years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore besides furnishing an exceptional education, the Eloy AZ school you enroll in should also furnish the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be working.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If so, 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 esteem within the interior design profession and its students are sought after. It may also indicate that the school has a substantial network of Eloy AZ business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Eloy AZ colleges you are evaluating and find out what type of assistance they provide. Many of interior designer colleges offer financial aid to their new students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in securing grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Eloy AZ schools you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Eloy 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 styles are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior design program you select provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Eloy AZ, make sure that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Choose the Best Eloy Interior Design College
Picking the right interior designer college is a crucial initial step toward starting your career in this creative and gratifying profession. Finding a college where you will receive your education and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a daunting job no matter what major you have chosen. As with any undertaking to acquire a higher education, there are several points to think about before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design college are both accredited and highly esteemed in the business. It is still imperative that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design programs so that you can make the right final selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Eloy Arizona.