Interior Designer Degree
How to Enroll in the Right One Near Flagstaff Arizona
So it’s time to begin the process of picking an interior design school near Flagstaff AZ once you have made a career decision to study to be an interior designer. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's important that you receive the right training to put your skills to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it's vital you carry out the proper research so that you can evaluate and compare each school that you are considering before you make your ultimate choice. But where do you start? When looking for interior design schools, many potential students start by targeting the ones that are closest to their homes with the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are important variables when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. There are several other factors that you should weigh when analyzing schools, such as reputation and accreditation. 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 first, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training options are offered.
IT TAKES JUST A FEW MINUTES TO START YOUR INTERIOR DESIGN CAREER BELOW!
Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Many people mistake interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The primary distinction between the two is the level of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, doing business as an interior designer requires 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 work or residential areas functional as well as attractive. On many projects they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are two general areas that an interior designer in Flagstaff AZ can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any room of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers often concentrate predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over looks as the main concern.
There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, including color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Flagstaff AZ interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
Interior Design Degree Programs
There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to receive the training required to launch your new career in Flagstaff AZ. Your selection will undoubtedly be driven by your career objectives as well as the money and time that you have budgeted to devote 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 take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in several states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum amount of education required to enter the field. They take approximately two years to complete and programs are available at a number of Arizona community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can typically obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that supply more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical aspects of the business required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree 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 design training after acquiring a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mostly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are normally completed in three to five years.
In order 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 examination.
Online Interior Designer Classes
For students who to study in the comfort of their Flagstaff AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design degrees. Attending classes online can be an excellent option for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For many students online schools may be the sole option if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an additional 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 also. Just make sure that the school you choose 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 earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the perfect alternative for you.
What to Ask Interior Design Schools
Now that you have selected the interior design 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 commuting distance from your Flagstaff AZ residence. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will limit your options also. But choosing the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your house are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other things that you should consider as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the colleges you are reviewing to get those answers in addition to others to help you compare and ultimately pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's necessary to verify that the interior design program and college that you select has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. 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 undergone a rigorous assessment of their programs and instructors. Just confirm that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are outstanding, it might also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Flagstaff AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do mandate that interior designers become 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 school. And in some of those States mandating licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore in addition to providing an exceptional education, the Flagstaff AZ school you enroll in should also provide the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination 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 earned your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some support in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its students are sought after. It might also signify that the college has a sizable network of Flagstaff AZ business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Flagstaff AZ schools you are looking at and find out what kind of support they provide. A number of interior designer schools offer financial aid to their new students. Some schools provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in obtaining grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Flagstaff AZ schools you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Flagstaff home, visit the campus and monitor a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some 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 Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior designer program you choose offers 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 in the evening or on weekends near Flagstaff 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 alternative as well. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Find Out More About How to Become an Interior Designer in Flagstaff
Choose the Right Flagstaff Interior Design School
Choosing the right interior design school is a crucial first step toward launching your career in this artistic and gratifying profession. Finding a college where you will obtain your education and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a daunting job no matter what major you have decided on. As with any undertaking to acquire an advanced education, there are a number of things to consider before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, verify that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. It is still important that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design schools so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Flagstaff Arizona.
Flagstaff Interior Design Programs | Flagstaff Interior Design Courses