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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Casas Adobes AZ

How to Find the Right Interior Design Program

Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design degree program near Casas Adobes AZ, it's time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's imperative that you obtain the right training to put your talents to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's essential that you perform the proper research so that you can evaluate and compare each school that you are considering prior to making your final decision. But where do you start? Many prospective students will launch their research by searching for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are relevant issues when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into account also. We will discuss those topics and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are offered.

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Interior Design and Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Casas Adobes AZ

Often people confuse interior design for interior decoration. The principal distinction between them is the level of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make living or work spaces functional as well as attractive. On many projects they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are two broad areas that an interior designer in Casas Adobes AZ can specialize in:

  • Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Designing. When working on public or commercial areas, designers normally concentrate predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.

There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, such as color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Casas Adobes Arizona interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
 

Interior Design Training Programs

There are four degree options offered in interior design to get the training needed to begin your new profession in Casas Adobes AZ. Your decision will no doubt be motivated by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in several states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum amount of training needed to enter the profession. They take about 2 years to complete and programs are available at numerous Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that provide more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative components of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced design training after achieving a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialty majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mostly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are generally completed in three to five years.

To work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be called for before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.

Questions to Ask Interior Designer Programs

Casas Adobes Arizona interior designer bathroomAfter you have selected the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of assessing your school options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the college has to be within driving distance from your Casas Adobes AZ home. Of course if you are interested in 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 selecting the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you need to look at also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a list of questions 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 ultimately select the right degree program.

Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's important 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 obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just confirm 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 establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are exceptional, it might also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Casas Adobes Arizona employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.

Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required also. So besides providing an exceptional education, the Casas Adobes AZ program you enroll in should also furnish the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some support in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It may also indicate that the school has a significant network of Casas Adobes AZ business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Casas Adobes AZ colleges you are reviewing and find out what kind of aid they provide. A number of interior design colleges provide financial assistance to their new students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in acquiring grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Casas Adobes AZ programs you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Casas Adobes home, go to the campus and monitor a few 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 backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior designer school you enroll in provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Casas Adobes AZ, make certain that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.

Enroll in the Right Interior Design College near Casas Adobes Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Casas Adobes ArizonaChoosing the ideal interior design college is a crucial first step toward starting your career in this artistic and gratifying profession. Locating a school where you will obtain your education and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a daunting job regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to acquire an advanced education, there are many things to consider before choosing a school, program, or course. At a minimum, check that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the business. However it is still essential that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Casas Adobes Arizona.