How to Select an Interior Design School near Green Valley Arizona
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Green Valley AZ, it’s time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial interiors, it’s important that you get 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 could need preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s essential that you carry out the proper research in order to evaluate and compare each school that you are looking at before you make your ultimate choice. But exactly where do you start? Many prospective students will start their research by looking for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. 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 need to be taken into consideration as well. We will address 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 talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class choices are available.
Interior Decoration vs Interior Design
Some people confuse interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The key distinction between the two is the level of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator in Green Valley AZ if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. However, conducting business as an interior designer requires formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or living areas functional as well as attractive. On various occasions they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are two general areas that an interior designer may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers in Green Valley AZ typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with public or commercial areas, Green Valley AZ designers normally focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.
There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design in Green Valley AZ that a designer must learn, including color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui principles, interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
Interior Design Training Programs
There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to receive the training required to begin your new career. Your choice will undoubtedly be influenced by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in several states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered near Green Valley AZ.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum level of training required to enter the profession. They take roughly 2 years to finish and programs are offered at many Green Valley AZ area community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can typically obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that supply more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative components of the business needed to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level job 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 for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are largely for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work professionally and use the title of “Interior Designer”, many states mandate 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 examination.
Online Interior Designer Degree Programs
For students who to attend classes in the comfort of their homes, there are accredited online interior design programs. Attending classes online can be a good alternative for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. 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 option if no Green Valley AZ area interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Additional costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated also. Just be sure that the school you choose is accredited by a recognized 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 confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Design Programs
When you have decided on the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of analyzing your Green Valley AZ area school options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the campus must be within commuting distance from your home. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will decrease your choices also. But choosing the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your house are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other things that you need to look at as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a list of questions that you may want to ask the programs you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and subsequently select the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It’s essential to confirm that the interior designer college and program that you choose has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous 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 excellent, it may also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Green Valley AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some states do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those states calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to providing an exceptional education, the Green Valley AZ program you select should also furnish the proper training to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some help in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its students are sought after. It could also indicate that the school has a substantial network of Green Valley AZ area business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the colleges you are looking at and find out what kind of aid they offer. A number of Green Valley AZ area interior design colleges offer financial assistance to their new students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide support in obtaining grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Green Valley AZ schools you are considering what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your home, go to the school and sit in on a few classes. While there speak with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, verify that the Green Valley AZ interior designer college you choose offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends, make certain that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Pick the Best Interior Design Certification Training near Green Valley ArizonaChoosing the right interior design college is an important initial step toward launching your career in this creative and rewarding profession. Locating a college where you will receive your training and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a challenging job regardless of what field you have chosen. As with any endeavor to recieve a higher education, there are a number of points to think about before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, verify that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. But it is still imperative that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare schools so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer.
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