Interior Designer Degree Program
How to Enroll in the Best One Near Flowing Wells Arizona
So it’s time to start the process of choosing an interior design school near Flowing Wells AZ now that you have made a career decision to become an interior designer. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's important that you get the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So in order to analyze and compare each program you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection it's very important that you do the appropriate research. But just how do you approach enrolling in the right program? When checking out interior design schools, the majority of students begin by targeting those that are closest to their homes with the lowest tuition. However, a school is not always the best choice simply because it happens to have a campus near your home or is lower in cost. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into consideration as well. We will discuss those topics and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at 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 options are offered.
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Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Many people confuse interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The key difference between the two is the level of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, working as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make living or work spaces attractive as well as functional. On many occasions they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are 2 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 area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers often focus predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary concern.
There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. They must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui principles, Flowing Wells AZ interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
Interior Design Degrees
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to obtain the training required to begin your new profession in Flowing Wells AZ. Your decision will undoubtedly be influenced by your career objectives as well as the money and time that you have to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make certain to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in several states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum level of education required to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to complete and programs are available at many Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can usually obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that furnish more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical components of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These two year programs provide advanced design training after acquiring the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer options in specialty majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are mostly for those professionals who wish 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", many states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be called for before a candidate can take the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Colleges
For those who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their Flowing Wells AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design colleges. Attending classes online can be a good solution for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For a number of students online programs may be the only 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 minimized or eliminated also. Just be sure that the college you enroll in is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, 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 education. If you have the dedication to obtain your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the ideal alternative for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Design Colleges
Once you have selected the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the task of assessing your school options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the college needs to be within commuting distance from your Flowing Wells AZ residence. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will narrow down your options as well. But picking the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you should consider also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a list of questions that you may want to ask the schools you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and subsequently select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's imperative to verify that the interior designer program and college that you select has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment of their programs and teachers. Just make sure that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are excellent, it may also help when applying for financial assistance 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 Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States calling for licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required as well. So aside from furnishing an excellent education, the Flowing Wells AZ program you choose should also provide the proper training to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will probably want some help in finding your first position. Ask the schools 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 regarded within the interior design profession and its students are sought after. It could also signify that the college has a substantial network of Flowing Wells AZ business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Flowing Wells AZ colleges you are looking at and ask what kind of aid they provide. A number of interior design colleges offer financial aid to their incoming students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide help in securing grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Flowing Wells AZ programs you are considering what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Flowing Wells home, go to the campus and sit in on a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior design college you enroll in provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Flowing Wells AZ, confirm that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Flowing Wells Interior Design College
Selecting the right interior design school is a critical first step toward starting your career in this artistic and rewarding profession. Searching for a college where you will obtain your education and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a daunting task no matter what field you have decided on. As with any endeavor to acquire an advanced education, there are a number of factors to consider before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. It is still essential that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Flowing Wells Arizona.