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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Casas Adobes AZ

How to Enroll in the Best Interior Designer College

Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer school near Casas Adobes AZ, it's time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's essential that you obtain the right training to put your skills to work. And since some states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's crucial that you do the proper research in order to assess and compare each school that you are looking at before you make your final selection. But where do you begin? Many potential students will begin their research by looking for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are key factors when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation must be considered also. We will cover those issues and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But before we do, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class options are available.

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Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Casas Adobes AZ

Some people confuse interior decoration for interior design. The primary difference 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, working as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or living areas attractive as well as functional. On various occasions they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are two broad categories that an interior designer in Casas Adobes AZ can specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any room of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers frequently focus predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the main concern.

There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, for example color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui concepts, Casas Adobes Arizona interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
 

Interior Designer Degrees

There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to obtain the training required to begin your new career in Casas Adobes AZ. Your choice will no doubt be motivated by your career objectives in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, make sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in several states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum amount of training needed to enter the field. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are available at numerous Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that supply more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative aspects of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced design training after acquiring a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives in specialized majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are largely for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.

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

Online Interior Design Degree Programs

Casas Adobes AZ student attending interior design school onlineFor students who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their Casas Adobes AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design classes. Attending classes online can be a great alternative for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For a number of students online schools may be the only option if no interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Additional costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the program you pick is accredited by a respected 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 distance or online education. If you have the dedication to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the perfect alternative for you.

What to Ask Interior Designer Schools

Now that you have chosen the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of analyzing your school options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the campus needs to be within commuting distance from your Casas Adobes AZ home. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will narrow down your options as well. But picking the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you should consider as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a few questions that you may want to address with the programs you are looking at to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and ultimately select the right degree program.

Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's imperative to confirm that the interior designer program and school that you choose has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding 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 establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are excellent, it may also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Casas Adobes Arizona employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.

Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore besides providing an excellent education, the Casas Adobes AZ program you choose should also provide the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be working.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will probably want some help in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It might also indicate that the school has a substantial network of Casas Adobes AZ business connections where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial aid departments for the Casas Adobes AZ schools you are reviewing and ask what type of aid they provide. Many of interior designer schools offer financial assistance to their new students. Some schools provide partial scholarships and others provide help in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.

How Small are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Casas Adobes AZ schools you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Casas Adobes home, go to the campus and attend a couple of classes. While there talk with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior design college you select offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Casas Adobes AZ, make sure that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.

Choose the Best Interior Design School near Casas Adobes Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Casas Adobes ArizonaSelecting the ideal interior designer school is a critical first step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding profession. Searching for a school where you will receive your training and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a challenging task regardless of what major you have selected. As with any undertaking to receive a higher education, there are many factors to consider before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. But it is still essential that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design programs so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Casas Adobes Arizona.