Interior Designer College
How to Select the Best One Near Green Valley Arizona
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near Green Valley AZ, it's time to start the process of selecting a school. It's imperative that you get the best available training to put your skills to work, even if you have always had a knack for designing residential or commercial interiors. And since a number of states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So in order to analyze and compare each college you are looking at before you make your ultimate choice it's vital that you carry out the proper research. But just how do you go about finding the right school? When checking out interior design schools, the majority of students start by targeting the ones that are closest to their homes with the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are key factors when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation must be taken into account as well. We will address those topics and other vital 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 alternatives are available.
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Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Some people mistake interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The main difference between the two 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. On the other hand, working as an interior designer requires a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make living or work areas attractive as well as functional. On various occasions they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are two general areas that an interior designer in Green Valley AZ may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any area of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers often concentrate predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.
There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui concepts, Green Valley AZ interior designers employ a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
Interior Design Degree Programs
There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to receive the training needed to start your new career 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 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 take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in some states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short descriptions 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 2 years to finish and programs are offered at a number of Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that supply more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical components of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced design training after acquiring a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives in specialized majors in general areas such 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. Doctorate degrees are mostly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are typically completed in three to five years.
To work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be needed before an applicant can take the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Schools
For individuals who wish to study in the comfort of their Green Valley AZ homes, there are accredited online interior design colleges. Studying online can be a great alternative for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For many students online colleges may be the sole option if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Added expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the program you enroll in is accredited by a respected accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Programs
After you have chosen the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of reviewing your college options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the school needs to be within driving distance from your Green Valley AZ residence. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will narrow down your options also. But selecting the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you should consider as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the colleges you are looking at to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and subsequently choose the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's imperative to make sure that the interior design college and program that you choose has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the industry 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 instructors. Just verify that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school 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 colleges. Also, many Green Valley AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some 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 calling for licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required as well. So in addition to furnishing an excellent education, the Green Valley AZ program you select should also furnish the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will no doubt need some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its students are sought after. It may also signify that the college has a sizable network of Green Valley AZ business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial aid departments for the Green Valley AZ colleges you are evaluating and ask what kind of support they offer. A number of interior design programs offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain schools offer partial scholarships and others provide support in acquiring federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Green Valley AZ programs you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Green Valley home, go to the college and sit in on a few classes. While there speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior design school you enroll in provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Green Valley AZ, make certain that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Find Out More About Becoming an Interior Designer in Green Valley
Choose the Right Green Valley Interior Design School
Selecting the ideal interior design program is an important first step toward launching your career in this creative and rewarding profession. Searching for a school where you will obtain your training and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a daunting task regardless of what major you have selected. As with any endeavor to attain a higher education, there are a number of things to think about before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. It is still important that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with quality training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Green Valley Arizona.
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