How to Select an Interior Design Program near Queen Creek Arizona
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design college near Queen Creek 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 spaces, it’s essential that you obtain the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it’s essential that you carry out the appropriate research in order to evaluate and compare each college that you are considering prior to making your ultimate choice. But exactly where do you begin? A number of future students will kick off their research by looking for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are important issues when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation need to be considered also. We will discuss those topics and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class alternatives are available.
Interior Decoration and Interior Design
Some people confuse interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The primary distinction between them is the level of training required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator in Queen Creek AZ if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, doing business 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 taught to make work or residential spaces attractive as well as functional. On many occasions they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad areas that an interior designer may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers in Queen Creek AZ frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any room of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, Queen Creek AZ designers frequently focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.
There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design in Queen Creek AZ that a designer must learn, for example lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui concepts, interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final creations.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are four degree options offered in interior design to get the training necessary to start your new profession. Your decision will no doubt be driven by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, be sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in a number of states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered near Queen Creek AZ.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum amount of training required to enter the profession. They take roughly 2 years to finish and programs are offered at many Queen Creek AZ area trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that supply more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical aspects of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced design training after attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer options in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are primarily 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 as a professional and use the title of “Interior Designer”, many states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be called for before an applicant can take the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Degree Programs
For anyone wishing’ to attend classes in the convenience of their homes, there are accredited online interior design programs. Attending classes online can be a great solution for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For some students online schools may be the only option if no Queen Creek AZ area interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Additional expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated also. Just make sure that the college you pick is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also obtain 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 structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the perfect option for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
After you have chosen the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of reviewing your Queen Creek AZ area school options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the college has to be within commuting distance from your residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will narrow down your choices also. But selecting the least expensive school or the one that is closest to home are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you should consider also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are looking at to get those answers as well as others to help you assess and subsequently pick the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It’s essential to verify that the interior design college and program that you choose has been accredited by either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding assessment of their teachers and programs. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are outstanding, it might also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Queen Creek AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of states do require that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those states calling for licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required as well. So aside from providing an outstanding education, the Queen Creek AZ school you enroll in should also furnish the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet 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 received your interior designer certification, you will no doubt need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It could also indicate that the college has a substantial network of Queen Creek AZ area business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the colleges you are reviewing and ask what type of assistance they offer. A number of Queen Creek AZ area interior design colleges provide financial aid to their incoming students. Various schools offer partial scholarships while others provide help in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Queen Creek AZ programs you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your home, visit the college and attend a few 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 credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make sure that the Queen Creek AZ interior design college you enroll in provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends, verify that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Select the Best Interior Designer School near Queen Creek ArizonaChoosing the ideal interior designer program is a crucial initial step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding occupation. Finding a college where you will receive your education and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a challenging task regardless of what field you have decided on. As with any endeavor to acquire a higher education, there are a number of factors to think about before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the profession. But it is still important that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare programs so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer.
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