How to Choose an Interior Design School near Whiteriver Arizona
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design degree program near Whiteriver AZ, it’s time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial spaces, it’s imperative that you obtain the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s essential that you do the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each school that you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate choice. But exactly where do you begin? Some potential students will kick off their research by searching for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are relevant factors when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into account also. We will discuss those topics and other crucial questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are available.
Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The principal distinction between the two is the amount of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator in Whiteriver AZ if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, working as an interior designer requires a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or living spaces functional as well as attractive. On various occasions they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are two general categories that an interior designer may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers in Whiteriver AZ typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any room of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public areas, Whiteriver AZ designers frequently focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary concern.
There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design in Whiteriver AZ that a designer needs to learn, including color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui principles, interior designers employ a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
Interior Design Degrees
There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to obtain the training required to start your new profession. Your decision will no doubt be motivated by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in a number of states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered near Whiteriver AZ.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum level of training required to enter the field. They take approximately two years to complete and programs are available at a number of Whiteriver AZ area trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can usually obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative facets of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced training in design after acquiring the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide alternatives in specialty majors for such things 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 mainly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are generally completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work professionally and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be required before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Colleges
For students who to attend classes in the comfort of their homes, there are accredited online interior design schools. Studying online can be an excellent option for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For a number of students online schools may be the sole alternative if no Whiteriver AZ area interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make certain that the college you pick is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the ideal alternative for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Design Colleges
Once you have decided on the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the task of assessing your Whiteriver AZ area school options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the school must be within commuting distance from your residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will narrow down your options also. But choosing the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you should look at also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a few concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and ultimately choose the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It’s important to verify that the interior design college and program that you select has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment of their programs and instructors. Just verify 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 establish that the reputation of the college 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 accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Whiteriver AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several states do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those states calling for licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required also. So in addition to furnishing an outstanding education, the Whiteriver AZ college you select should also provide the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some support in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It could also indicate that the college has a significant network of Whiteriver AZ area business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial assistance departments for the colleges you are looking at and find out what type of aid they provide. A number of Whiteriver AZ area interior design colleges offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Whiteriver AZ colleges you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your home, visit the college and attend a couple of 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 backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the Whiteriver AZ interior designer college you select offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends, make certain that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Enroll in the Right Interior Designer Program near Whiteriver ArizonaSelecting the ideal interior designer school is a critical first step toward launching your career in this creative and gratifying profession. Locating a college where you will receive your training and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting job no matter what field you have chosen. As with any undertaking to attain a higher education, there are several factors to consider before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design college are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. However it is still important that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare programs so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer.
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