Interior Designer Degree
How to Select the Right One Near Flowing Wells Arizona
So it’s time to begin the task of picking an interior design school near Flowing Wells AZ now that you have made a career choice to study to be an interior designer. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's important that you obtain the appropriate training to put your talents to work. And because interior designers must be licensed in several states, the college you select should prep you to pass any required licensing test and provide the necessary training for your specialty. So in order to analyze and compare each college you are considering before you make your ultimate choice it's essential that you perform the appropriate research. But just how do you approach finding the right program? When checking out interior design schools, the majority of students start by targeting those that are closest to their homes with the cheapest tuition. While location and cost are key issues when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. There are various other factors that you should weigh when analyzing schools, for instance accreditation and reputation. We will discuss those topics and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let's cover a little bit about the degree and training options are offered.
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Interior Design Degrees
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to obtain the training required to start your new career in Flowing Wells AZ. Your decision will undoubtedly be influenced by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, make sure to choose 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 discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum level of education required to enter the profession. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are available at a number of Arizona community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that supply more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative facets of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These two year programs provide advanced training in design after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options 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. Doctoral degrees are mainly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college 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", many states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be called for before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Designer Online Degree Programs
For anyone wishing' to attend classes in the comfort of their Flowing Wells AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design programs. Studying online can be a great solution for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For some students online colleges may be the only alternative if no interior design schools are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Added expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the school you select is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the ideal alternative for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Programs
Now that you have chosen the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of evaluating your college options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the campus needs to be within driving 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 qualifier. The expense for tuition will decrease your choices also. But selecting the least expensive school or the one that is closest to home are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other things that you need to consider as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the program. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and subsequently pick the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's important to confirm that the interior design college and program that you choose has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding evaluation of their instructors and programs. 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 confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Flowing Wells AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do mandate that interior designers get 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 program. And in several of those States requiring licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to providing an outstanding education, the Flowing Wells AZ program you select should also provide the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be working.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If so, ask 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 graduates are in demand. It may also signify that the college has a significant network of Flowing Wells AZ business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Flowing Wells AZ schools you are reviewing and ask what type of assistance they offer. A number of interior designer programs offer financial aid to their incoming students. Certain schools offer partial scholarships while others provide help in obtaining grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Flowing Wells AZ programs you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Flowing Wells home, visit the campus and sit in on a few classes. While there talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior designer school you select offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Flowing Wells AZ, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Best Flowing Wells Interior Design College
Choosing the right interior designer program is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this creative and fulfilling occupation. Searching for a college where you will obtain your education and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult 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 selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, confirm that the design college and program are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. It is still imperative that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Flowing Wells Arizona.