Interior Designer School
How to Choose the Right One Near Green Valley Arizona
So it’s time to begin the task of choosing an interior design school near Green Valley AZ once you have made a career decision to study to be an interior designer. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's important that you obtain the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do require that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So in order to assess and compare each program you are looking at prior to making your ultimate choice it's essential that you perform the appropriate due diligence. But just how do you go about enrolling in the right program? When checking out interior design programs, the majority of students begin by zeroing in on the ones that are nearest to their homes with the lowest tuition. But keep in mind, a school is not always the best choice simply because it happens to have a campus near your home or is lower in cost. There are a number of other factors that you should weigh when comparing schools, for instance reputation and accreditation. We will discuss those topics and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But before we do, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training options are offered.
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Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The key distinction between the two is the amount of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. However, conducting business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or residential areas attractive as well as functional. On various occasions they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad areas that an interior designer in Green Valley AZ can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers often concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.
There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, for example lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui concepts, Green Valley AZ interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that help bring about their final creations.
Interior Designer Degree Options
There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to receive the training necessary to start your new career in Green Valley AZ. Your selection will undoubtedly be motivated by your career goals in addition to 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 sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in some states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum level of education needed to enter the field. They take approximately two years to finish and programs are available at numerous Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can normally obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that furnish more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical facets of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These two year programs supply advanced training in design after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are primarily for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be needed before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Designer Online Courses
For students who to attend classes in the comfort of their Green Valley AZ homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Studying online can be a great solution for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For a number of students online programs may be the sole alternative if no interior design schools are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Additional costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make certain that the college you select is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the dedication to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the perfect alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Designer Programs
Once you have decided on the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of reviewing your college options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the school must be within commuting distance from your Green Valley AZ home. Naturally if you are interested in attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will narrow down your options as well. But choosing the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you need to consider as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a list of questions that you may want to address with the schools you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and subsequently choose the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's essential to confirm that the interior designer program and school that you choose has earned accreditation from 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). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous assessment of their programs and teachers. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are outstanding, it might also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Green Valley AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, 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 mandating licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required also. Therefore in addition to providing an excellent education, the Green Valley AZ college you select should also provide the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ examination 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 designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out 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 trade and its students are sought after. It may also signify that the college has a substantial network of Green Valley AZ business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial aid offices for the Green Valley AZ colleges you are reviewing and find out what kind of assistance they offer. A number of interior design programs provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Some schools provide partial scholarships and others provide support in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Green Valley AZ colleges you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Green Valley home, visit the college and monitor 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 styles are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior designer school you enroll in offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Green Valley AZ, verify that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Enroll in the Right Green Valley Interior Design School
Picking the ideal interior design program is a crucial initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and rewarding profession. Locating a college where you will receive your training and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a daunting job regardless of what major you have decided on. As with any endeavor to acquire a higher education, there are many factors to think about before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design college are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. It is still imperative that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design programs so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Green Valley Arizona.