How to Pick an Interior Designer Program near Lake Montezuma Arizona
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near Lake Montezuma AZ, it’s time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial spaces, it’s essential that you obtain the appropriate training to put your skills to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it’s very important that you perform the appropriate research so that you can evaluate and compare each college that you are considering prior to making your ultimate choice. But where do you start? Many potential students will start their research by looking for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are key issues when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be considered as well. We will address those topics and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at 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 options are available.
Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design
Many people confuse interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The main distinction between the two is the amount of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator in Lake Montezuma AZ if they possess a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. However, doing business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or residential areas attractive as well as functional. On many occasions they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are two broad areas that an interior designer can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers in Lake Montezuma AZ typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any area of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public areas, Lake Montezuma AZ designers frequently concentrate predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.
There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design in Lake Montezuma AZ that a designer needs to learn, for example lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui concepts, interior designers employ a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
Interior Design Training Programs
There are four degree options offered in interior design to acquire the training needed to begin your new career. Your choice will no doubt be influenced by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, be sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in a number of states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available near Lake Montezuma AZ.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum level of training needed to enter the profession. They take about 2 years to finish and programs are available at numerous Lake Montezuma AZ area trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can usually 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 creative and technical facets 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 position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced design training after achieving the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide alternatives in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are largely for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work professionally and use the title of “Interior Designer”, many states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be needed before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Colleges
For those who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their homes, there are online accredited interior design degrees. Studying online can be an excellent solution for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For a number of students online programs may be the only option if no Lake Montezuma AZ area interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Added expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the college you enroll in is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the perfect option for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
Now that you have chosen the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of reviewing your Lake Montezuma AZ area school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the school has to be within driving distance from your home. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will decrease your choices also. But picking the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you should look at as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a few concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others to help you compare and subsequently pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It’s essential to verify that the interior design school and program that you select has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment of their teachers and programs. Just make sure that both the college and the degree program 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 outstanding, it might also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Lake Montezuma AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of states do require that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those states calling for licensing, at least 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. So aside from furnishing an outstanding education, the Lake Montezuma AZ school you choose should also furnish the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be employed.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will probably want some support in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It may also signify that the school has a substantial network of Lake Montezuma AZ area business connections where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the schools you are evaluating and find out what type of assistance they provide. Many of Lake Montezuma AZ area interior design schools offer financial aid to their incoming students. Certain schools offer partial scholarships and others provide help in acquiring grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Lake Montezuma AZ programs you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your home, go to the college and sit in on a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and ask 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? Last, verify that the Lake Montezuma AZ interior design program you choose offers classes the fit your busy 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, verify that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.
Find the Best Interior Design Degree Program near Lake Montezuma ArizonaSelecting the ideal interior design school is a crucial initial step toward starting your career in this creative and gratifying profession. Finding a school where you will receive your education and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a challenging job no matter what field you have selected. As with any undertaking to attain an advanced education, there are many things to consider before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, check that the design college and program are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. But it is still important that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare programs so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer.
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