How to Choose an Interior Design School near Ehrenberg Arizona
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Ehrenberg AZ, it’s time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial spaces, it’s essential that you get the appropriate training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it’s crucial that you carry out the appropriate research in order to analyze and compare each college that you are considering before you make your ultimate selection. But exactly where do you begin? A number of prospective students will begin their research by searching for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are key issues when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into consideration also. We will cover those topics and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But first, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class alternatives are offered.
Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Many people confuse interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The primary distinction between the two is the level of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator in Ehrenberg AZ if they have a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, working as an interior designer requires formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make living or work spaces functional as well as attractive. On various occasions they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers in Ehrenberg AZ typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any room of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, Ehrenberg AZ designers normally focus predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over looks as the main consideration.
There are numerous areas of residential and commercial interior design in Ehrenberg 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 carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui principles, interior designers implement a wide range of skills that contribute to their final creations.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to get the training necessary to start your new career. Your choice will undoubtedly be influenced by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, be sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in a number of states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered near Ehrenberg AZ.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum amount of education needed to enter the field. They take about 2 years to complete and programs are available at numerous Ehrenberg AZ area vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can usually obtain entry level positions 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 aspects of the business needed to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs provide advanced training in design after attaining a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide options in specialized majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mainly 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 three to five 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 several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be called for before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Designer Online Schools
For students who to study in the convenience of their homes, there are online accredited interior design schools. Studying online can be a great alternative for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For some students online schools may be the sole alternative if no Ehrenberg AZ area interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Additional costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated also. Just make sure that the school you enroll in is accredited by a recognized 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 online or distance learning. If you have the discipline to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Interior Designer Schools
Once you have chosen the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of evaluating your Ehrenberg AZ area college options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the school needs to be within commuting distance from your residence. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will narrow down your options also. But picking the most affordable college or the one that is closest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you need to consider also, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Below are a few concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are reviewing to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and subsequently choose the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It’s necessary to make sure that the interior design college and program that you select has earned accreditation from either a national or regional 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 undergone a rigorous evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Ehrenberg AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several states do require that interior designers become 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 college. And in several of those states mandating licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required also. So besides furnishing an outstanding education, the Ehrenberg AZ school you choose should also provide the proper education to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the state where you will be employed.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some help in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It may also signify that the school has a substantial network of Ehrenberg AZ area business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the colleges you are reviewing and ask what type of support they provide. A number of Ehrenberg AZ area interior design schools offer financial aid to their new students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide help in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Ehrenberg AZ schools you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your home, go to the campus and monitor 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? Last, make sure that the Ehrenberg AZ interior designer school you enroll in offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends, make certain that those classes are available. 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 procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Ideal Interior Designer School near Ehrenberg ArizonaSelecting the right interior design program is an important first step toward launching your career in this creative and rewarding profession. Searching for a college where you will obtain your training and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a challenging task regardless of what major you have decided on. As with any undertaking to recieve an advanced education, there are many things to think about before choosing a school, program, or course. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. However it is still essential that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare schools so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer.
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