Interior Designer School
How to Enroll in the Best One Near New River Arizona
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design degree program near New River AZ, it's time to start the process of selecting a school. It's important that you get the best available training to put your skills to work, even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors. And since interior designers must be licensed in a number of states, the school you select should prep you to pass any required licensing exam as well as provide the proper training for your specialty. So it's crucial you carry out the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each school that you are looking at prior to making your final decision. But where do you start? Many prospective students will begin their research by looking for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are key variables when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. There are a number of other qualifications that you should evaluate when reviewing schools, for instance accreditation and reputation. We will discuss those issues and other important 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 more about what interior design is and what degree and training options are available.
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Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Some people mistake interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The main distinction between them is the level of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or residential areas attractive as well as functional. On some occasions they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in New River AZ can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public areas, designers often focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.
There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, for example color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui principles, New River AZ interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
Interior Design Degrees
There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to acquire the training needed to launch your new career in New River AZ. Your decision will undoubtedly be driven by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, make certain to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in a number of states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum level of training needed to enter the profession. They take approximately 2 years to complete and programs are offered at a number of Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that provide 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 lowest credential needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced design training after acquiring a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives 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 their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are primarily for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are generally 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 professional experience may be called for before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.
Online Interior Designer Schools
For anyone wishing' to study in the convenience of their New River AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design schools. Studying online can be a great solution for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For many students online colleges may be the only option if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Added expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make certain that the college you pick is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency, 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 dedication to obtain your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Designer Schools
After you have chosen the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of evaluating your college options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the school needs to be within commuting distance from your New River AZ residence. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will decrease your options as well. But selecting the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to home are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you need to consider also, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a list of questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are reviewing to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and ultimately select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's necessary to confirm that the interior designer school and program that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment 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 education are exceptional, it might also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many New River AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some 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 college. And in several of those States requiring licensing, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required also. So aside from providing an outstanding education, the New River AZ college you select should also provide the proper training to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be working.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will probably need some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its graduates are in demand. It could also indicate that the school has a significant network of New River AZ business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the New River AZ colleges you are reviewing and ask what kind of aid they provide. A number of interior design programs provide financial aid to their incoming students. Various schools provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the New River AZ schools you are reviewing what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your New River home, visit the college and monitor a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior design program you select provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near New River AZ, confirm that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative as well. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Learn More About Studying to Become an Interior Designer in New River
Choose the Best New River Interior Design College
Selecting the ideal interior designer school is an important first step toward launching your career in this creative and gratifying occupation. Finding a college where you will obtain your training and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a difficult job regardless of what field you have chosen. As with any undertaking to acquire an advanced education, there are many factors to think about before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. It is still important that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design programs so that you can make the right final selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in New River Arizona.
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