How to Select an Interior Designer Course near Safford Arizona
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design degree program near Safford AZ, it’s time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it’s important that you receive the right training to put your talents to work. And since several states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it’s essential that you carry out the appropriate research so that you can analyze and compare each program that you are considering prior to making your ultimate choice. But just where do you start? Many prospective students will begin their research by looking for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are relevant variables when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation should be considered as well. We will cover those issues and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class choices are offered.
Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design
Many people confuse interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The primary distinction between the two is the level of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator in Safford AZ if they have a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer requires formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or living areas functional as well as attractive. On various projects they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are two broad categories that an interior designer can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers in Safford AZ often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any room of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial spaces, Safford AZ designers normally concentrate predominantly 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 emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the main consideration.
There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design in Safford AZ that a designer must learn, for example lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. They must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui principles, interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final creations.
Interior Design Training Programs
There are four degree options available in interior design to obtain the training required to start your new career. Your decision will no doubt be influenced by your career objectives as well as the money and time that you have to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in several states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available near Safford AZ.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum amount of education needed to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to complete and programs are available at a number of Safford AZ area trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can typically obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that furnish more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative aspects of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest 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 supply advanced design training after achieving the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide choices in specialty majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to advance 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 programs differ in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work as a professional and use the title of “Interior Designer”, many states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be required before an applicant can take the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Schools
For those who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their homes, there are accredited online interior design degrees. Attending classes online can be a good alternative for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For some students online programs may be the only alternative if no Safford AZ area interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Added expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the college you choose is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online 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 ideal alternative for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Programs
Now that you have chosen the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the task of assessing your Safford AZ area college options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the school must be within commuting distance from your residence. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will decrease your choices as well. But choosing the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you need to look at as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others to help you assess and ultimately select the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It’s essential to verify that the interior designer college and program that you choose 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 obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just confirm that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Safford AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several states do mandate 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 mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore besides providing an exceptional education, the Safford AZ college you choose should also provide the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be employed.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will probably need some support in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It might also signify that the college has a sizable network of Safford AZ area business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial assistance offices for the schools you are looking at and ask what kind of aid they provide. Many of Safford AZ area interior design schools offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Some schools provide partial scholarships while others provide help in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately 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 personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Safford AZ schools you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your home, visit the campus and monitor a couple of classes. While there speak 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? Last, make certain that the Safford AZ interior designer college you choose provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends, make sure 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 due to work, family or illness.
Pick the Right Interior Designer School near Safford ArizonaChoosing the ideal interior design school is an important initial step toward launching your career in this creative and rewarding occupation. Locating a college where you will receive your training and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a challenging task no matter what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to attain an advanced education, there are many factors to think about before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. But it is still essential that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare programs so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer.
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