How to Find an Interior Design Course near Laveen Arizona
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer college near Laveen AZ, it’s time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it’s important that you obtain the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do mandate 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 perform the appropriate research in order to analyze and compare each college that you are considering before you make your ultimate decision. But where do you start? Many future students will launch their research by looking for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are important factors when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation must be considered as well. We will address those issues and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But before we do, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class choices are available.
Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The main difference between the two is the amount of education required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator in Laveen AZ if they possess a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, working as an interior designer requires formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or residential spaces attractive as well as functional. On various projects they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are two broad categories that an interior designer may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers in Laveen AZ typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, Laveen AZ designers frequently focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary concern.
There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design in Laveen AZ that a designer must learn, such as color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui principles, interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final designs.
Interior Design Training Programs
There are four degree options offered in interior design to receive the training required to begin your new career. Your decision will undoubtedly be motivated by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in several states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered near Laveen AZ.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum amount of training required to enter the field. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are offered at numerous Laveen AZ area community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can usually obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that provide more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical aspects of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced training in design after achieving a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer choices in specialty 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 want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work as a professional and use the title of “Interior Designer”, many states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be needed before an applicant can take the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Degree Programs
For individuals who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their homes, there are accredited online interior design schools. Studying online can be a great alternative for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For a number of students online schools may be the sole alternative if no Laveen AZ area interior design schools are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Additional expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated also. Just make sure that the program you select is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance 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 perfect alternative for you.
What to Ask Interior Design Schools
When you have chosen the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the task of reviewing your Laveen AZ area school options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the college must be within driving distance from your home. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will limit your choices as well. But picking the least expensive college or the one that is closest to home are not the ideal ways to make your decision. 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 concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others to help you examine and ultimately choose the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It’s imperative to make sure that the interior design school and program that you select has been accredited by either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone 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 agency. Not only will it help establish 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 accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Laveen AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, 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) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those states requiring licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required also. So aside from furnishing an exceptional education, the Laveen AZ school you select should also provide the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be employed.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It might also indicate that the school has a large network of Laveen AZ area business connections where they can refer students to obtain 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 ask what kind of support they offer. A number of Laveen AZ area interior designer schools provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Some schools offer partial scholarships and others provide support in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Laveen AZ colleges you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your home, go to the school and monitor a couple of classes. While there talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the Laveen AZ interior design program you select provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends, make certain that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Choose the Best Interior Design School near Laveen ArizonaPicking the right interior designer program is a critical first step toward launching your career in this creative and rewarding occupation. Searching for a college where you will receive your training and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a daunting job regardless of what major you have selected. As with any undertaking to acquire a higher education, there are a number of factors to consider before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the business. But it is still imperative that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare colleges so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer.
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