How to Choose an Interior Designer School near Page Arizona
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design college near Page AZ, it’s time to start 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 get the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do require that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it’s very important that you perform the appropriate research in order to assess and compare each school that you are considering before you make your ultimate decision. But where do you begin? A number of future students will kick off their research by looking for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are important variables when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation need to be considered as well. We will cover those topics and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But before we do, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are available.
Interior Decoration vs Interior Design
Some people confuse interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The primary difference between them is the amount of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator in Page AZ if they have a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, working as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or living spaces functional as well as attractive. On various projects they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are two general areas that an interior designer can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers in Page AZ typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any room of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When working on public or commercial spaces, Page AZ designers normally concentrate primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.
There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design in Page AZ that a designer must learn, such as color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui concepts, interior designers employ a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to receive the training needed to start your new profession. Your selection will undoubtedly be motivated by your career objectives as well as the money and time that you have to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, be sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in several states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available near Page AZ.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum amount of education required to enter the field. They take approximately 2 years to complete and programs are available at numerous Page AZ area trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that deliver more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative facets of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs provide advanced design training after acquiring the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide choices in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mainly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are usually completed in three to five years.
In order to work professionally and use the title of “Interior Designer”, many states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be called for before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Schools
For students who to study in the convenience of their homes, there are accredited online interior design schools. Attending classes online can be a good option for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For many students online programs may be the only alternative if no Page AZ area interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the school you enroll in is accredited by a respected accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the dedication to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
Now that you have decided on the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of reviewing your Page AZ area college options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the school needs to be within commuting distance from your residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will narrow down your choices also. But picking the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you should consider as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you compare and subsequently select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It’s necessary to make sure that the interior designer school and program that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding assessment of their teachers and programs. Just make sure 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 college and the quality of the training are excellent, it might also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Page AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some states do require that interior designers become 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 college. And in several of those states calling for licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore besides providing an outstanding education, the Page AZ school you enroll in should also provide the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the state where you will be employed.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some help in finding your first position. Ask the programs 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 an excellent sign that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It may also signify that the college has a substantial network of Page AZ area business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Available? Contact the financial aid departments for the colleges you are evaluating and ask what kind of aid they provide. A number of Page AZ area interior designer programs offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Page AZ schools you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your home, visit the college and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the Page AZ interior designer program you select provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends, verify that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Find the Ideal Interior Design Program near Page ArizonaChoosing the ideal interior designer program is a crucial first step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding profession. Searching for a school where you will obtain your education and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a difficult job no matter what field you have decided on. As with any endeavor to recieve an advanced education, there are several points to consider before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. But it is still important that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare programs so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer.
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