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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Casa Grande AZ

How to Find the Best Interior Designer Course

Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design degree program near Casa Grande AZ, it's time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's important that you get the right training to put your skills to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's essential that you do the proper research in order to assess and compare each program that you are looking at before you make your ultimate decision. But just where do you start? Many prospective students will launch 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 are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation must be considered also. We will discuss those topics and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But before we do, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class choices are offered.

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Interior Decoration vs Interior Design

interior designed living room in Casa Grande AZ

Many people confuse interior decoration for interior design. The principal difference between the two is the amount of training required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. 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 taught to make work or residential areas attractive as well as functional. On many occasions they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Casa Grande AZ can specialize in:

  • Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any area of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers often concentrate predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For instance, 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 looks as the main consideration.

There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui principles, 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 options offered in interior design to obtain the training needed to launch your new profession in Casa Grande AZ. Your decision will no doubt be motivated by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in several states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum level of training required to enter the field. They take about two years to finish and programs are available at a number of Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can normally obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that furnish more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative aspects of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs provide advanced training in design after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer 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 the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are largely for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.

To work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be needed before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.

Interior Designer Online Classes

Casa Grande AZ student attending interior design school onlineFor students who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their Casa Grande AZ homes, there are accredited online interior design colleges. Attending classes online can be an excellent alternative for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For many students online programs may be the sole alternative if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Additional expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated also. Just make sure that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the dedication to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the perfect option for you.

Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Colleges

Once you have chosen the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of analyzing your school options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the college has to be within commuting distance from your Casa Grande AZ residence. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will limit your options as well. But picking the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you need to look at also, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a few concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are considering to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and ultimately select the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the interior designer program and college that you choose has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous assessment of their teachers and programs. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are outstanding, it might also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Casa Grande Arizona employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.

Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do mandate that interior designers become 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 calling for licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore besides providing an excellent education, the Casa Grande AZ school you select should also furnish the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some support in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It may also indicate that the college has a substantial network of Casa Grande AZ business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Casa Grande AZ colleges you are looking at and find out what type of support they offer. A number of interior design schools provide financial aid to their incoming students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Casa Grande AZ programs you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Casa Grande home, visit the school and sit in on a couple of classes. While there talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior designer program you choose offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Casa Grande AZ, make certain that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Choose the Right Interior Designer School near Casa Grande Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Casa Grande ArizonaSelecting the ideal interior design program is a crucial initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and gratifying occupation. Finding a college where you will obtain your education and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a challenging job regardless of what field you have selected. As with any undertaking to attain an advanced education, there are many things to consider before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the profession. However it is still essential that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design programs so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Casa Grande Arizona.