How to Find an Interior Designer Course near Sun City Arizona
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design school near Sun City 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 imperative that you obtain the right training to put your talents to work. And since some states do mandate 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 carry out the appropriate research in order to evaluate and compare each college that you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection. But exactly where do you start? Many prospective students will kick off their research by searching for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are key factors when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation must be considered also. We will discuss those issues and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But first, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training options are offered.
Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration
Many people mistake interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The primary distinction between them is the amount of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator in Sun City AZ if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. However, working as an interior designer requires formal training and in numerous 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 functional as well as attractive. On various projects they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are two broad categories that an interior designer may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers in Sun City AZ typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any room of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public areas, Sun City AZ designers normally focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.
There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design in Sun City AZ that a designer must learn, such as lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui principles, interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final designs.
Interior Designer Training Programs
There are four degree options offered in interior design to get the training needed to begin your new career. Your selection will undoubtedly be driven by your career objectives as well as the money and time that you have to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, be sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in some states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered near Sun City AZ.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum level of education needed to enter the field. They take about two years to complete and programs are offered at numerous Sun City AZ area community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that provide more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative facets of the trade required 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 2 year programs supply advanced design training after acquiring the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer alternatives in specialty majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are largely for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work professionally and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, many states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be called for before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.
Online Interior Design Schools
For anyone wishing’ to study in the convenience of their homes, there are online accredited interior design colleges. Attending classes online can be a good solution for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For some students online programs may be the only alternative if no Sun City 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 costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the school you pick is accredited by a highly regarded 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 online or distance education. If you have the dedication to obtain your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the ideal alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Designer Programs
After you have selected the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of analyzing your Sun City AZ area school options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the college needs to be within driving distance from your residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will decrease your options also. But picking the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you need to look at also, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Following are a few concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are considering to get those answers in addition to others to help you assess and ultimately pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It’s imperative to confirm that the interior designer program and school that you enroll in has been accredited by 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 obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Sun City AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some states do require that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those states requiring licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required also. Therefore aside from furnishing an outstanding education, the Sun City AZ school you enroll in should also furnish the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be employed.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It might also indicate that the college has a large network of Sun City AZ area business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the schools you are reviewing and find out what kind of aid they offer. A number of Sun City AZ area interior design colleges provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide help in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classes? Smaller 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 Sun City AZ colleges you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your home, go to the college and sit in on a couple of 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 backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make certain that the Sun City AZ interior design college you select offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends, make sure that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll 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.
Select the Right Interior Designer Certification Training near Sun City ArizonaPicking the right interior designer school is a critical first step toward starting your career in this creative and gratifying profession. Searching for a college where you will obtain your training and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a daunting job regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any undertaking to acquire a higher education, there are many things to consider before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, confirm that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the field. However it is still imperative that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare colleges so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer.
Some Additional Cities of Interest in Arizona