How to Choose an Interior Designer College near Hayden Arizona
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design college near Hayden AZ, it’s time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial spaces, it’s imperative that you get the appropriate training to put your talents to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s vital that you do the appropriate research in order to analyze and compare each school that you are reviewing before you make your final decision. But exactly where do you start? Many future students will start their research by looking for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are relevant factors when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation should be considered also. We will address those issues and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But before we do, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class alternatives are offered.
Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration
Some people confuse interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The key distinction between them is the level of training required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator in Hayden AZ if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, working as an interior designer necessitates 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 trained to make work or residential areas functional as well as attractive. On various projects they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad areas that an interior designer can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers in Hayden AZ often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any area of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, Hayden AZ designers normally concentrate predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the main consideration.
There are numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design in Hayden AZ that a designer needs to learn, including lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. 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 principles, interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
Interior Design Degrees
There are four degree options available in interior design to receive the training necessary to launch your new profession. Your choice will no doubt be influenced by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in several states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available near Hayden AZ.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum level of training needed to enter the field. They take approximately 2 years to complete and programs are available at a number of Hayden AZ area trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can usually obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that deliver more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical components of the trade required 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 2 year programs provide advanced design training after achieving a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer alternatives in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are mainly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work professionally and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, many states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be needed before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Colleges
For individuals who wish to study in the convenience of their homes, there are accredited online interior design colleges. Attending classes online can be an excellent option for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For a number of students online schools may be the sole option if no Hayden 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 commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the school you select is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the perfect option for you.
What to Ask Interior Design Programs
Once you have chosen the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of analyzing your Hayden AZ area school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the campus must be within driving distance from your residence. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will limit your choices also. But picking the most affordable school or the one that is closest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other things that you need to consider as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a list of questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others to help you examine and ultimately pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It’s imperative to make sure that the interior design school and program that you select has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just confirm 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 aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Hayden AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some states do require that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those states requiring licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to furnishing an outstanding education, the Hayden AZ program you choose should also provide the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will no doubt need some help in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It could also indicate that the college has a sizable network of Hayden AZ area business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial aid departments for the colleges you are reviewing and ask what kind of aid they offer. A number of Hayden AZ area interior designer colleges provide financial aid to their incoming students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide help in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Hayden AZ colleges you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your home, visit the campus and attend a few classes. While there speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the Hayden AZ interior designer school you select offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends, confirm that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Ideal Interior Design Program near Hayden ArizonaSelecting the ideal interior designer school is a crucial initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and rewarding occupation. Searching for a school where you will receive your education and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a challenging job regardless of what field you have selected. As with any undertaking to attain an advanced education, there are several things to consider before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. But it is still imperative that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare schools so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer.
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