Interior Designer Program
How to Find the Right One Near Fortuna Foothills Arizona
So it’s time to start the task of picking an interior design school near Fortuna Foothills AZ now that you have made a career choice to study to be an interior designer. It's important that you get the appropriate training to put your skills to work, even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors. And since interior designers must be licensed in a number of states, the college you choose should prepare you to pass any required licensing exam and provide the necessary training for your specialty. So in order to evaluate and compare each program you are looking at prior to making your ultimate choice it's vital that you carry out the appropriate due diligence. But where do you begin? When checking out interior design programs, the majority of students start by targeting those that are closest to their homes with the lowest tuition. But keep in mind, a school is not always the best choice just because it has the lowest tuition or is located closest to your home. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation should be considered also. We will discuss those issues and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But first, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are offered.
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Interior Design Compared to Interior Decoration
Some people confuse interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The principal difference between them is the level of training required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, doing business as an interior designer requires 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 trained to make work or residential areas attractive as well as functional. On some occasions they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Fortuna Foothills AZ can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any area of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When working on public or commercial areas, designers often concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might concentrate more on functionality over looks as the main concern.
There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui principles, Fortuna Foothills AZ interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final creations.
Interior Design Degree Programs
There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to get the training necessary to start your new career in Fortuna Foothills AZ. Your selection will no doubt be motivated by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make certain to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in several states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum amount of education needed to enter the profession. They take approximately 2 years to finish and programs are available at many Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level employment 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 technical and creative aspects of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest 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 provide advanced design training after achieving a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialty majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are largely for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are generally completed in three to five years.
In order to work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of 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 take the licensing examination.
Online Interior Designer Classes
For individuals who wish to study in the comfort of their Fortuna Foothills AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design schools. Studying online can be a great solution for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For many students online colleges may be the only option if no interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an added 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 also. Just make sure that the school you choose is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also receive 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 structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the ideal alternative for you.
What to Ask Interior Design Programs
After you have decided on the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of reviewing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the college must be within commuting distance from your Fortuna Foothills AZ residence. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will decrease your choices also. But choosing the cheapest school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you should consider also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a few questions that you may want to address with the schools you are considering to get those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and subsequently select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's important to verify that the interior designer school and program that you enroll in has been accredited by either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding assessment of their programs and instructors. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are outstanding, it might also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Fortuna Foothills AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States calling for licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required also. Therefore in addition to furnishing an excellent education, the Fortuna Foothills AZ school you select should also provide the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some support in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It could also indicate that the school has a significant network of Fortuna Foothills AZ business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Fortuna Foothills AZ colleges you are looking at and find out what type of assistance they provide. A number of interior designer schools offer financial assistance to their new students. Some schools offer partial scholarships while others provide support in securing federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Fortuna Foothills AZ schools you are reviewing what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Fortuna Foothills home, visit the campus and monitor a few classes. While there talk with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior designer school you choose offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Fortuna Foothills AZ, verify that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Best Fortuna Foothills Interior Design School
Selecting the ideal interior designer program is a critical first step toward starting your career in this artistic and fulfilling occupation. Finding a college where you will receive your training and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting job no matter what major you have selected. As with any undertaking to receive an advanced education, there are many things 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 esteemed in the business. It is still essential that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design schools so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Fortuna Foothills Arizona.