Interior Designer Degree
How to Find the Right One Near Flowing Wells Arizona
So it’s time to start the process of picking an interior design school near Flowing Wells AZ once you have made a career choice to study to be an interior designer. It's important that you get the appropriate training to develop your skills, even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors. And since interior designers must be licensed in several states, the school you select should prepare you to pass any required licensing exam as well as provide the necessary training for your specialty. So it's very important you carry out the proper research so that you can assess and compare each college that you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision. But where do you begin? When checking out interior design schools, many potential students begin by targeting the ones that are nearest to their homes with the lowest tuition. But keep in mind, a school is not always the right option simply because it happens to have a campus near your home or is lower in cost. There are several other factors that you should evaluate when reviewing schools, for instance reputation and accreditation. We will cover those issues and other crucial questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class alternatives are available.
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Interior Design Compared to Interior Decoration
Many people mistake interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The key difference between them is the level of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make living or work spaces functional as well as attractive. On many projects they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Flowing Wells AZ may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any room of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers often focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the main concern.
There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, such as color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui concepts, Flowing Wells AZ interior designers implement a wide range of skills that contribute to their final designs.
Interior Designer Degree Options
There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to get the training necessary to launch your new career in Flowing Wells AZ. Your selection will undoubtedly be motivated by your career objectives as well as the money and time that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, make certain to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in a number of states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum amount of training required to enter the profession. They take roughly 2 years to finish and programs are offered at a number of Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with 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 secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced design training after achieving the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are mainly for those professionals who desire 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 professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be required before a candidate can take the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Schools
For anyone wishing' to study in the convenience of their Flowing Wells AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design programs. Attending classes online can be a good solution for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For many students online schools may be the sole option if no interior design schools are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Additional costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the college you select is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also acquire 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 confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the right alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
Now that you have selected the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of analyzing your school options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the campus must be within commuting distance from your Flowing Wells 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 qualifier. The expense for tuition will narrow down your options also. But selecting the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to your house are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other things that you should look at as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a list of questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others to help you assess and subsequently select the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's essential to verify that the interior design college and program that you enroll in has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college 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 outstanding, it might also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Flowing Wells AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do mandate that interior designers become 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 school. And in some of those States mandating licensing, at least 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. So aside from providing an outstanding education, the Flowing Wells AZ school you select should also provide the appropriate education 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 Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will probably want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It might also indicate that the school has a significant network of Flowing Wells AZ business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial aid departments for the Flowing Wells AZ colleges you are evaluating and find out what type of support they provide. Many of interior designer schools provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide help in obtaining grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts 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 larger, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Flowing Wells AZ programs you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Flowing Wells home, go to the school and sit in on 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 Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior designer college you choose offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Flowing Wells AZ, verify that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.
Choose the Right Flowing Wells Interior Design School
Selecting the ideal interior designer college is a crucial first step toward starting your career in this artistic and rewarding occupation. Locating a school where you will receive your training and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a challenging task no matter what major you have selected. As with any endeavor to acquire a higher education, there are many factors to consider before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, make sure that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the field. It is still imperative that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design schools so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Flowing Wells Arizona.