How to Find an Interior Designer College near Winslow Arizona
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design degree program near Winslow AZ, it’s time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it’s imperative that you obtain the right training to put your talents to work. And since several states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s crucial that you do the proper research so that you can assess and compare each program that you are looking at before you make your final decision. But just where do you begin? A number of future students will start their research by looking for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are relevant issues when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into consideration as well. We will discuss those issues and other vital questions that you should be asking 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 class options are offered.
Interior Decoration vs Interior Design
Some people confuse interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The key distinction between the two is the level of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator in Winslow AZ if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education 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 living areas functional as well as attractive. On various projects they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers in Winslow AZ frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially 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, Winslow AZ designers normally concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the primary concern.
There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design in Winslow AZ that a designer needs to learn, including lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui concepts, interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to get the training necessary to start your new profession. Your selection will undoubtedly be driven by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide 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 mandated in a number of states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available near Winslow AZ.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum level of training required to enter the field. They take about two years to finish and programs are offered at many Winslow AZ area vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can typically obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that provide more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative components of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs provide advanced design training after achieving the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide options 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 largely for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are generally completed in three to five years.
In order to work professionally and use the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be needed before a candidate can take the licensing examination.
Interior Designer Online Schools
For those who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their homes, there are online accredited interior design colleges. Attending classes online can be a great option 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 sole alternative if no Winslow AZ area interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Additional costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated also. Just make sure that the program you choose is accredited by a respected accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the discipline to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Designer Schools
Once you have selected the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the task of analyzing your Winslow AZ area college options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the college needs to be within driving distance from your residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will limit your choices as well. But picking the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you should look at as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a list of questions that you may want to address with the schools you are considering to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and ultimately choose the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It’s imperative to verify that the interior designer program and college 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). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive evaluation of their programs and teachers. Just confirm 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 school and the quality of the education are excellent, it may also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Winslow 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 require that interior designers become 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 some of those states mandating licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required as well. So in addition to furnishing an outstanding education, the Winslow AZ college you select should also furnish the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will no doubt need some support in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It might also indicate that the college has a large network of Winslow AZ area business connections where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Contact the financial aid offices for the colleges you are reviewing and ask what kind of aid they offer. Many of Winslow AZ area interior designer schools offer financial aid to their incoming students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships while others provide support in acquiring federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors 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 probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Winslow AZ colleges you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your home, visit the school and sit in on a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the Winslow AZ interior designer program you enroll in provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends, confirm that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative as well. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Find the Right Interior Designer College near Winslow ArizonaChoosing the right interior designer college is a critical first step toward launching your career in this artistic and rewarding occupation. Searching for a college where you will obtain your education and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a challenging job no matter what field you have decided on. As with any undertaking to recieve an advanced education, there are many factors to consider before choosing a school, program, or course. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the business. But it is still important that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare schools so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer.
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