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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Casa Grande AZ

How to Enroll in the Best Interior Designer School

Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design college near Casa Grande AZ, it's time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's imperative that you get the proper training to put your skills to work. And since several states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it's very important that you do the proper research in order to analyze and compare each program that you are looking at before you make your ultimate selection. But exactly where do you start? A number of potential students will start their research by looking for interior design courses 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 accreditation and reputation need to be taken into consideration also. We will address those topics and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class choices are available.

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Interior Decoration and Interior Design

interior designed living room in Casa Grande AZ

Many people mistake interior decoration for interior design. The main distinction between them is the level of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. However, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or living spaces attractive as well as functional. On many occasions they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Casa Grande AZ may specialize in:

  • Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any room of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers often focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.

There are numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Casa Grande Arizona interior designers implement a wide range of skills that help bring about their final designs.
 

Interior Design Degree Programs

There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to receive the training necessary to start your new career in Casa Grande AZ. Your choice will undoubtedly be motivated by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in some states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum amount of training required to enter the field. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are offered at a number of Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can typically obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that furnish more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative facets of the business required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced training in design after achieving the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer choices in specialty majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are largely for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are generally completed in 3 to 5 years.

To work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be required before a candidate can take the licensing exam.

Questions to Ask Interior Design Colleges

Casa Grande Arizona interior designer bathroomOnce you have selected the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the task of reviewing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the school needs to be within commuting distance from your Casa Grande AZ home. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But choosing the cheapest school or the one that is closest to your house are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you need to consider also, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Following are a few concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are considering to get those answers as well as others to help you compare and subsequently choose the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's imperative to confirm that the interior design program and school that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous evaluation of their programs and teachers. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Casa Grande Arizona employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.

Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several 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 several of those States mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required as well. So in addition to furnishing an outstanding education, the Casa Grande AZ program you choose should also furnish the proper education to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some help in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design profession and its students are sought after. It may also indicate that the school has a substantial network of Casa Grande AZ business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Casa Grande AZ schools you are evaluating and find out what kind of aid they offer. Many of interior design schools provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships while others provide help in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Casa Grande AZ colleges you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Casa Grande home, go to the college and monitor a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some students and find out 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? Finally, make certain that the interior design school you choose provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Casa Grande AZ, confirm that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Choose the Right Interior Designer Program near Casa Grande Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Casa Grande ArizonaChoosing the ideal interior design college is a crucial initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and fulfilling occupation. Locating a college where you will obtain your education and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a difficult task no matter what field you have chosen. As with any undertaking to acquire a higher education, there are a number of things 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 business. But it is still important that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Casa Grande Arizona.