Interior Designer Degree
How to Enroll in the Best One Near Maricopa Arizona
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design college near Maricopa AZ, it's time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's essential that you receive the proper training to put your talents to work. And since several states do require that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So in order to assess and compare each college you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision it's vital that you perform the proper due diligence. But just how do you undertake enrolling in the right school? Many prospective students will begin their research by looking for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are key issues when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation must be taken into consideration also. We will discuss those issues and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let's cover a little bit about the degree and training options are offered.
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Interior Designer Degree Options
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to receive the training required to begin your new profession in Maricopa AZ. Your choice will undoubtedly be influenced by your career objectives in addition to the money and time that you have to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, make sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in a number of states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum level of training required to enter the field. They take approximately 2 years to finish and programs are available at many Arizona community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can normally obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that supply more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical components of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced training in design after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer choices in specialized majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are largely for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be required before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.
Online Interior Design Schools
For students who to attend classes in the comfort of their Maricopa AZ homes, there are accredited online interior design programs. Attending classes online can be an excellent solution for those students that are employed or have hectic 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 alternative if no interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the program you choose is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, 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 distance or online learning. If you have the discipline to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the right option for you.
What to Ask Interior Designer Programs
When you have chosen the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of reviewing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the college has to be within commuting distance from your Maricopa AZ residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will limit your options also. But choosing the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you need to look at as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a list of questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are looking at to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you examine and ultimately pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's imperative to verify that the interior designer college and program that you select has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just make sure 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 college and the quality of the training are outstanding, it might also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Maricopa AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States requiring licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. So in addition to furnishing an excellent education, the Maricopa AZ program you select should also furnish the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be working.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are considering 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 school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It may also signify that the college has a substantial network of Maricopa AZ business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Maricopa AZ colleges you are looking at and find out what kind of aid they offer. Many of interior design schools offer financial assistance to their new students. Various schools provide partial scholarships while others provide support in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Maricopa AZ schools you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Maricopa home, visit the school and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior design school you choose offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Maricopa AZ, make sure that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Find Out More About Studying to Become an Interior Designer in Maricopa
Enroll in the Best Maricopa Interior Design School
Choosing the right interior designer program is a crucial initial step toward starting your career in this creative and gratifying profession. Searching for a school where you will obtain your training and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a daunting task regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to acquire an advanced education, there are several things to think about before choosing a school, program, or course. 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 analysis. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Maricopa Arizona.
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