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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Casa Grande AZ

How to Pick the Right Interior Designer Course

Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Casa Grande AZ, it's time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's important that you obtain the appropriate training to put your skills to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it's vital that you do the proper research so that you can assess and compare each college that you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision. But just where do you start? A number of future students will kick off their research by searching for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are key variables when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to be considered also. We will address those issues and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But first, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training choices are offered.

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Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design

interior designed living room in Casa Grande AZ

Some people mistake interior decoration for interior design. The principal distinction between them is the amount of education required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. However, conducting business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or living areas functional as well as attractive. On some projects they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Casa Grande AZ may specialize in:

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

There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, for example color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui concepts, Casa Grande Arizona interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final designs.
 

Interior Design Degree Programs

There are four degree options available in interior design to acquire the training needed to start your new profession in Casa Grande AZ. Your decision will undoubtedly be driven by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, be sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in some states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum amount of education required to enter the field. They take about 2 years to finish and programs are available at a number of Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that provide more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical components of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs supply advanced training in design after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives in specialized majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are primarily for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are typically completed in three to five years.

To work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be called for before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.

Why Study 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.

Questions to Ask Interior Designer Programs

Now that you have selected the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the task of evaluating your college options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your Casa Grande AZ residence. Naturally if you have decided on attending a school online, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will limit your choices also. But choosing the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you should consider as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a few concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you examine and subsequently pick the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's necessary to verify that the interior designer college and program that you choose has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just verify 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 training are exceptional, it may also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Casa Grande Arizona employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.

Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some 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 school. And in some of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore besides furnishing an excellent education, the Casa Grande AZ program you enroll in should also provide the suitable training 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? Once you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some help in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, 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 field and its students are sought after. It may also indicate that the school has a large network of Casa Grande AZ business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Casa Grande AZ schools you are evaluating and find out what type of assistance they offer. Many of interior designer schools provide financial assistance to their new students. Various schools offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program 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 intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Casa Grande AZ schools you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Casa Grande home, visit the school and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior design college you choose offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant 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, make certain that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.

Enroll in the Best Interior Design Program near Casa Grande Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Casa Grande ArizonaPicking the ideal interior design college is an important initial step toward starting your career in this creative and gratifying occupation. Locating a college where you will obtain your education and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a challenging job regardless of what field you have selected. As with any endeavor to receive a higher education, there are a number of points to consider before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. But it is still essential that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design schools so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Casa Grande Arizona.