Interior Designer School
How to Pick the Best One Near Flowing Wells Arizona
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near Flowing Wells AZ, it's time to begin the process of selecting a school. It's imperative that you get the appropriate training to put your skills to work, even if you have always had a knack for designing residential or commercial interiors. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So in order to assess and compare each college you are considering before you make your final choice it's very important that you carry out the appropriate due diligence. But just how do you go about enrolling in the right school? Some potential students will start their research by looking for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are important factors when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into consideration also. We will discuss those topics and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But before we do, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class alternatives are offered.
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Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The key distinction between the two is the level of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, 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 trained to make work or residential areas attractive as well as functional. On various projects they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are two broad categories that an interior designer in Flowing Wells AZ may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any room of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers frequently focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.
There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, including color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Flowing Wells AZ interior designers implement a wide range of skills that contribute to their final creations.
Interior Designer Degrees
There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to receive the training required to begin your new profession in Flowing Wells AZ. Your decision will no doubt be influenced by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in some states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum amount of training needed to enter the profession. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are offered at a number of Arizona community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can commonly qualify for 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 cover the creative and technical components of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the minimum 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 supply advanced design training after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are mainly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university 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 professional experience may be required before a candidate can take the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Colleges
For students who to attend classes in the comfort of their Flowing Wells AZ homes, there are accredited online interior design schools. Studying online can be a great alternative for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For a number of students online schools may be the only alternative if no interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Additional expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the program you choose is accredited by a respected accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the perfect alternative for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Design Colleges
When you have chosen the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of assessing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the campus must be within commuting distance from your Flowing Wells AZ home. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will decrease your choices as well. But picking the most affordable college or the one that is closest to home are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you should look at as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a few questions that you may want to address with the schools you are looking at to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you compare and ultimately pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's essential to verify that the interior designer program and school that you choose has been accredited by 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 a rigorous assessment of their programs and teachers. 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 establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are outstanding, it might also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Flowing Wells AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required also. Therefore in addition to furnishing an exceptional education, the Flowing Wells AZ program you enroll in should also provide the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be working.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will probably want some support in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are considering 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 school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its students are sought after. It could also indicate that the school has a sizable network of Flowing Wells AZ business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Flowing Wells AZ schools you are reviewing and ask what kind of support they offer. A number of interior designer colleges provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide assistance in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Flowing Wells AZ colleges you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Flowing Wells home, go to the campus and monitor a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior design program you choose offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Flowing Wells AZ, verify that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Choose the Best Flowing Wells Interior Design College
Selecting the right interior designer school is an important initial step toward starting your career in this creative and gratifying occupation. Finding a school where you will receive your training and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a daunting task regardless of what field you have chosen. As with any undertaking to acquire an advanced education, there are a number of factors to think about before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, check that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the profession. It is still important that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design programs 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 Flowing Wells Arizona.