Interior Designer Degree Program
How to Choose the Best One Near New Kingman Butler Arizona
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design school near New Kingman Butler AZ, it's time to start the process of picking 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 talent for designing commercial or residential interiors. And because interior designers are licensed in several states, the school you select should prepare you to pass any required licensing test as well as provide the proper training for your specialty. So in order to assess and compare each college you are looking at prior to making your final decision it's vital that you perform the appropriate research. But where do you begin? Many future students will begin their research by searching for interior design courses near their home and then comparing tuition costs. But keep in mind, a school is not always the right option just because it happens to have a campus near your home or is lower in cost. There are various other factors that you should weigh when analyzing schools, for instance accreditation and reputation. We will cover those issues and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are researching 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 available.
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Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Often people mistake interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The main difference between the two is the amount of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, 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 and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or living spaces functional as well as attractive. On some projects they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad areas that an interior designer in New Kingman Butler AZ may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any room of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with public or commercial areas, designers frequently focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over looks as the main consideration.
There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, such as lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. They must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui concepts, New Kingman Butler AZ interior designers implement a wide range of skills that contribute to their final designs.
Interior Designer Degree Options
There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to get the training needed to start your new career in New Kingman Butler AZ. Your decision will undoubtedly be influenced by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt 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 required in some states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum level of training required to enter the profession. They take approximately 2 years to finish and programs are offered at numerous Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that supply more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative aspects of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced design training after achieving the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives in specialty majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs 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 generally completed in three to five years.
To work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be called for before an applicant can take the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Degree Programs
For those who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their New Kingman Butler AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design degrees. Studying online can be a great option for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For many students online schools may be the sole alternative if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Added costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated also. Just make certain that the college you enroll in is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Design Programs
Now that you have chosen the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the college needs to be within commuting distance from your New Kingman Butler AZ home. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will narrow down your options as well. But picking the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you should look at as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a list of questions that you may want to ask the schools you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and subsequently pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's necessary to verify that the interior design college and program that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous evaluation 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. 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 obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many New Kingman Butler AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States mandating licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore aside from furnishing an exceptional education, the New Kingman Butler AZ school you select should also furnish the proper education to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be working.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will probably want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It may also indicate that the school has a sizable network of New Kingman Butler AZ business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the New Kingman Butler AZ schools you are reviewing and ask what type of support they offer. A number of interior designer programs provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships and others provide support in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts 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 probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the New Kingman Butler AZ programs you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your New Kingman Butler home, visit the campus and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior designer school you choose provides classes the fit your active 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 New Kingman Butler AZ, make certain that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Best New Kingman Butler Interior Design School
Picking the ideal interior designer school is a critical first step toward starting your career in this creative and gratifying occupation. Finding a school where you will receive your education and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting job regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to attain an advanced education, there are many things to consider before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. It is still important that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in New Kingman Butler Arizona.