How to Find an Interior Design School near Wickenburg Arizona
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Wickenburg AZ, it’s time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial spaces, it’s essential that you get the appropriate training to put your skills to work. And since several states do require that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it’s vital that you perform the appropriate research in order to evaluate and compare each program that you are reviewing prior to making your final selection. But exactly where do you begin? Many potential students will begin their research by looking for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are key factors when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into account also. We will discuss those issues and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at 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 choices are available.
Interior Decoration vs Interior Design
Some people confuse interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The principal difference between the two is the amount of education required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator in Wickenburg AZ if they possess a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, working as an interior designer requires formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or residential areas functional as well as attractive. On many projects they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are two broad areas that an interior designer can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers in Wickenburg AZ typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any room of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public areas, Wickenburg AZ designers frequently focus 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 hospitals and banks may focus more on functionality over appearance as the main consideration.
There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design in Wickenburg AZ that a designer must learn, for example color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui concepts, interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
Interior Design Degrees
There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to obtain the training necessary to start your new profession. Your selection will undoubtedly be influenced 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 required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in some states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available near Wickenburg AZ.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum level of training required to enter the profession. They take about 2 years to complete and programs are offered at many Wickenburg AZ area community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative facets of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced design training after attaining a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer options in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mainly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work professionally and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, many states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be needed before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.
Online Interior Designer Classes
For individuals who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Attending classes online can be an excellent option for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For many students online programs may be the sole option if no Wickenburg AZ area interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the college you select is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. 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 right option for you.
What to Ask Interior Designer Programs
When you have decided on the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the task of assessing your Wickenburg AZ area school options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the school has to be within driving distance from your residence. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will narrow down your options as well. But selecting the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you need to look at as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a list of questions that you may want to address with the schools you are looking at to get those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and ultimately select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It’s imperative to make sure that the interior designer college and program that you choose has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous 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 confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it might also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Wickenburg AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of 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 program. And in some of those states mandating licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore in addition to providing an excellent education, the Wickenburg AZ school you select 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 School’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask 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 students are sought after. It could also indicate that the college has a sizable network of Wickenburg AZ area business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the colleges you are evaluating and ask what kind of assistance they offer. A number of Wickenburg AZ area interior design programs offer financial aid to their incoming students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Wickenburg AZ programs you are reviewing what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your home, visit the campus and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk 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 Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the Wickenburg AZ interior designer school you select offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night 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, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Interior Designer Certification Training near Wickenburg ArizonaSelecting the right interior design college is an important first step toward starting your career in this creative and gratifying occupation. Locating a college where you will receive your training and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting task no matter what major you have selected. As with any endeavor to acquire a higher education, there are a number of things to think about before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, check that the design college and program are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. However it is still imperative that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare programs so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer.
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