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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Casa Grande AZ

How to Enroll in the Right Interior Designer Program

Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Casa Grande 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 essential that you get the appropriate training to put your talents to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's crucial that you carry out the proper research in order to assess and compare each program that you are reviewing before you make your final choice. But where do you begin? A number of potential students will start their research by searching for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are key factors when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into account as well. We will address those issues and other crucial questions that you should be asking 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 alternatives are offered.

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Interior Design vs Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Casa Grande AZ

Some people mistake interior decoration for interior design. The key distinction between them is the amount of training required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, doing business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make living or work areas functional as well as attractive. On some occasions they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Casa Grande AZ can specialize in:

  • Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers frequently focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.

There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui concepts, Casa Grande Arizona interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
 

Interior Designer Degrees

There are four degree options offered in interior design to receive the training necessary to begin your new profession in Casa Grande AZ. Your decision will undoubtedly be driven by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in some states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum level of training needed to enter the field. They take roughly 2 years to finish and programs are available at a number of Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that provide more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical aspects of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced design training after acquiring a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide alternatives in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are primarily for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are usually completed in three to five 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 some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be required before a candidate can take the licensing exam.

Why Train to Become an Interior Designer?

Casa Grande AZ student attending interior design school onlineThere are many options available to you once you graduate and enter the field of interior design.  If you’ve got an entrepreneurial spirit you may become self-employed and open your own interior design shop. You might also work for a small or larger design firm. Designers have careers creating interiors for businesses, hospitals, government buildings, as well as private residences. Rarely is a design career a 9 to 5 job. You’ll need to be flexible, patient, and persistent to get your career off the ground. But you will have the opportunity to earn an attractive income as well as the personal satisfaction of creating beautiful living and working spaces.

Topics to Ask Interior Designer Colleges

After you have decided on the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of assessing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the college has to be within commuting distance from your Casa Grande AZ home. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will decrease your choices also. But selecting the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to home are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you need to look at as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Below are a few questions that you may want to address with the schools you are reviewing to get those answers in addition to others to help you assess and ultimately pick the right degree program.

Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's imperative to verify that the interior designer program and school that you choose has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive assessment of their instructors 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 confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Casa Grande Arizona employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.

Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, 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) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. So in addition to providing an outstanding education, the Casa Grande AZ school you choose should also provide the appropriate education 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 College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some help in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its students are sought after. It might also indicate that the school has a sizable network of Casa Grande AZ business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial aid offices for the Casa Grande AZ colleges you are evaluating and find out what type of aid they offer. Many of interior designer colleges provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain schools offer partial scholarships and others provide support in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Large 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 Casa Grande AZ colleges you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Casa Grande home, go to the school and monitor 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 philosophies are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior design college you select provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Casa Grande AZ, verify that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.

Enroll in the Best Interior Design School near Casa Grande Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Casa Grande ArizonaPicking the ideal interior designer program is an important first step toward starting your career in this artistic and fulfilling occupation. Locating a school where you will obtain your training and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting job no matter what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to acquire an advanced education, there are a number of points to think about before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the field. But it is still imperative that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Casa Grande Arizona.