How to Choose an Interior Designer Degree Program near Wellton Arizona
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Wellton AZ, it’s time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial spaces, it’s imperative that you receive the right training to put your talents to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it’s crucial that you perform the appropriate research in order to assess and compare each school that you are looking at before you make your final choice. But where do you begin? Many potential students will begin their research by searching for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are important factors when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be considered also. We will discuss those topics and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But first, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class options are available.
Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Often people confuse interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The key difference between them is the amount of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator in Wellton AZ if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, working as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or residential areas attractive as well as functional. On many projects they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers in Wellton AZ frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any room of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public areas, Wellton AZ designers normally focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over looks as the main concern.
There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design in Wellton AZ that a designer must learn, for example color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui principles, interior designers employ a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
Interior Designer Training Programs
There are four degree options offered in interior design to acquire the training needed to launch your new profession. Your choice will undoubtedly be driven by your career objectives in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, make certain to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in several states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available near Wellton AZ.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum level of training required to enter the field. They take about two years to complete and programs are available at a number of Wellton AZ area trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can usually qualify for 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 creative and technical aspects of the business required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced training in design after achieving a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer alternatives in specialized majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are primarily for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are generally completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work as a professional and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, many states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be required before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.
Online Interior Designer Colleges
For individuals who wish to study in the convenience of their homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Studying online can be a good alternative for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For some students online programs may be the only alternative if no Wellton AZ area interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Additional expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the school you choose is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, 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 online or distance learning. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the ideal alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Designer Schools
Now that you have selected the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of reviewing your Wellton AZ area college options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the school needs to be within commuting distance from your home. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will narrow down your options also. But picking the least expensive college or the one that is closest to home are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you need to consider also, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a few questions that you may want to ask the programs you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and subsequently choose the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It’s essential to verify that the interior design school and program that you enroll in has been accredited by 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 an extensive assessment of their programs and teachers. Just verify that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are excellent, it may also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Wellton AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of states do require that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those states requiring licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required also. So besides providing an exceptional education, the Wellton AZ program you select should also furnish the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will probably want some help in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design field and its students are sought after. It might also signify that the college has a substantial network of Wellton AZ area business connections where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the colleges you are reviewing and ask what kind of assistance they provide. Many of Wellton AZ area interior design colleges offer financial aid to their new students. Various schools provide partial scholarships while others provide support in securing grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Wellton AZ colleges you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your home, go to the campus and sit in on a couple of classes. While there speak with some 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 Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make certain that the Wellton AZ interior designer school you choose offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly significant 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 attend part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Find the Ideal Interior Design College near Wellton ArizonaPicking the ideal interior designer school is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding profession. Searching for a college where you will obtain your training and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a difficult job regardless of what field you have selected. As with any endeavor to acquire a higher education, there are many things to consider before choosing a school, program, or course. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. But it is still imperative that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions 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 excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer.
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