How to Select an Interior Designer Course near Cochise Arizona
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design degree program near Cochise AZ, it’s time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential spaces, it’s essential that you obtain the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do require that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it’s very important that you do the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each school that you are reviewing prior to making your final selection. But just where do you start? A number of future students will kick off their research by looking for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are relevant factors when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be considered as well. We will cover those issues and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are offered.
Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Often people confuse interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The main difference between them is the level of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator in Cochise AZ if they have a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. However, doing business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or residential areas attractive as well as functional. On many occasions they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers in Cochise AZ often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, Cochise AZ designers normally focus predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.
There are numerous areas of residential and commercial interior design in Cochise AZ that a designer must learn, such as color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui principles, interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that help bring about their final designs.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to obtain the training needed to start your new career. Your selection will no doubt be influenced by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in a number of states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered near Cochise AZ.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum amount of education required to enter the profession. They take approximately 2 years to finish and programs are available at numerous Cochise AZ area vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that supply more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative facets of the business required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced training in design after achieving the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer choices in specialty majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are primarily for those professionals who desire 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.
In order to work professionally and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be needed before a candidate can take the licensing examination.
Online Interior Designer Degree Programs
For individuals who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their homes, there are accredited online interior design colleges. Attending classes online can be an excellent alternative for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For a number of students online colleges may be the sole alternative if no Cochise AZ area interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Added costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated also. Just be 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 programs may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the dedication to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Interior Designer Schools
Now that you have chosen the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the task of reviewing your Cochise AZ area college options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the school must be within commuting distance from your residence. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will decrease your options also. But picking the most affordable school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you should look at as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are considering to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and ultimately select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It’s important to verify that the interior design college and program that you enroll in has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive evaluation of their teachers and programs. 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 obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Cochise AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of 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 school. And in several of those states calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore in addition to providing an outstanding education, the Cochise AZ school you choose should also provide the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the state where you will be employed.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are looking at 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 school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It could also indicate that the college has a substantial network of Cochise AZ area business connections where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial assistance offices for the schools you are reviewing and ask what kind of assistance they provide. A number of Cochise AZ area interior designer colleges offer financial assistance to their new students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide help in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Cochise AZ programs you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your home, visit the campus and attend a couple of classes. While there talk 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 Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, verify that the Cochise AZ interior designer program you select offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends, make sure that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.
Choose the Best Interior Designer Degree Program near Cochise ArizonaSelecting the right interior design school is a crucial initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and fulfilling occupation. Finding a school where you will obtain your education and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a daunting job no matter what field you have selected. As with any undertaking to recieve a higher education, there are a number of factors to think about before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, make sure that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the business. However it is still important that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare colleges so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with quality training and your determination to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer.
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