Interior Designer Degree Program
How to Choose the Right One Near Eloy Arizona
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design degree program near Eloy AZ, it's time to begin the process of choosing a school. It's important that you get the appropriate training to put your skills to work, even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential interiors. And because interior designers must be licensed in several states, the school you choose should prep you to pass any required licensing exam as well as provide the necessary training for your specialty. So in order to evaluate and compare each program you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection it's vital that you perform the proper due diligence. But just how do you undertake enrolling in the right school? When looking for interior design programs, many potential students begin by zeroing in on those that are nearest to their homes with the lowest tuition. While cost and location are important variables when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. There are many other considerations that you should weigh when comparing schools, for instance accreditation and reputation. We will address those topics and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But before we do, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class options are available.
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Interior Design Compared to Interior Decoration
Some people confuse interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The main distinction between them is the amount of training required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, working as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make living or work areas attractive as well as functional. On various projects they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Eloy AZ may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any room of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers often focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.
There are numerous areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui principles, Eloy AZ interior designers implement a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are four degree options available in interior design to obtain the training required to launch your new career in Eloy AZ. Your selection will no doubt be driven by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in a number of states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum amount of education needed to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to finish and programs are offered at many Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that supply more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical components of the business required 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 2 year programs furnish advanced training in design after acquiring a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialized 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. Doctoral degrees are primarily for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be called for before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.
Online Interior Design Schools
For students who to attend classes in the convenience of their Eloy AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design degrees. Studying online can be an excellent alternative for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For many students online programs may be the sole option if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Additional costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the program 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 acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
Once you have decided on the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of assessing your school options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the campus must be within commuting distance from your Eloy AZ home. 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 qualification. The expense for tuition will limit your options also. But selecting the most affordable college or the one that is closest to your house are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other things that you should look at as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and subsequently choose the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's necessary to verify that the interior designer school and program 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). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive assessment of their instructors and programs. Just confirm 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 school and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Eloy AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do mandate 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 college. And in several of those States calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to furnishing an outstanding education, the Eloy AZ school you select should also provide the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy 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 received your interior designer certification, you will probably need some help in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask 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 could also signify that the college has a substantial network of Eloy AZ business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Eloy AZ colleges you are evaluating and find out what kind of aid they provide. Many of interior designer programs offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships while others provide help in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Eloy AZ schools you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Eloy home, go to the college and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior design college you choose provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Eloy AZ, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Enroll in the Best Eloy Interior Design College
Picking the right interior design school is a crucial initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and rewarding profession. Locating a school where you will obtain your education and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a difficult task no matter what field you have selected. As with any undertaking to acquire a higher education, there are a number of points to consider before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, confirm that the design college and program are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. It is still imperative that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design schools 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 Eloy Arizona.