Interior Designer Course
How to Choose the Best One Near Green Valley Arizona
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design degree program near Green Valley AZ, it's time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's essential that you get the appropriate training to put your talents to work. And because interior designers are licensed in several states, the school you choose should prep you to pass any required licensing test and provide the proper training for your specialty. So it's very important you do the proper research in order to assess and compare each college that you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate choice. But just how do you go about enrolling in the right school? When looking for interior design schools, the majority of students begin by zeroing in on those that are closest to their homes with the lowest tuition. While cost and location are relevant variables when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation must be considered as well. We will discuss those topics and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But before we do, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training choices are offered.
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Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Many people confuse interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The key difference between them is the amount of training required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. However, working as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make living or work areas functional as well as attractive. On various projects they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are two general areas that an interior designer in Green Valley AZ can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with public or commercial areas, designers normally concentrate primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.
There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, for example color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Green Valley AZ interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
Interior Design Degrees
There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to receive the training needed to start your new profession in Green Valley AZ. Your choice will no doubt be influenced by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, be sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in some states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum amount of education required to enter the field. They take about two years to complete and programs are available at many Arizona community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can normally obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical components of the business required to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These two year programs provide advanced training in design after achieving the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are largely for those professionals who wish 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 as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be needed before an applicant can take the licensing exam.
Online Interior Design Classes
For anyone wishing' to attend classes in the comfort of their Green Valley AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design programs. Attending classes online can be a good alternative 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 some students online programs may be the only alternative if no interior design colleges are within driving 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 reduced or eliminated also. Just make sure that the program you select is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Programs
When you have selected the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of assessing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the school must be within driving distance from your Green Valley AZ residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But selecting the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to home are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other things that you should look at also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a list of questions that you may want to address with the programs you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and ultimately pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's imperative to make sure that the interior designer school and program that you enroll in has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive evaluation of their teachers and programs. 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 establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are excellent, it may also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Green Valley AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do mandate that interior designers become 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 program. And in several of those States calling for licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. So besides furnishing an exceptional education, the Green Valley AZ program you enroll in should also provide the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet 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 received your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some help in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It could also indicate that the school has a substantial network of Green Valley AZ business connections where they can place students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Green Valley AZ colleges you are reviewing and ask what kind of support they provide. Many of interior design colleges offer financial aid to their incoming students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Green Valley AZ programs you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Green Valley home, go to the college and sit in on a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk 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 Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior design college you enroll in offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Green Valley AZ, confirm that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right Green Valley Interior Design School
Choosing the ideal interior designer program is a critical initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and fulfilling profession. Searching for a college where you will receive your training and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult job regardless of what field you have selected. As with any undertaking to attain an advanced education, there are many points to consider before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, confirm that the design college and program are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. It is still essential that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with quality training and your determination to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Green Valley Arizona.