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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Casas Adobes AZ

How to Select the Best Interior Design Program

Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design degree program near Casas Adobes AZ, it's time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's imperative that you get the right training to put your talents to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it's essential that you carry out the appropriate research in order to evaluate and compare each program that you are looking at before you make your final selection. But exactly where do you begin? A number of prospective students will kick off their research by searching for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are relevant factors when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation should be considered as well. We will address 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 class choices are offered.

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Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Casas Adobes AZ

Some people mistake interior decoration for interior design. The primary difference between them is the level of education required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or residential spaces attractive as well as functional. On various occasions they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Casas Adobes AZ may specialize in:

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

There are numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, including lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Casas Adobes Arizona interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
 

Interior Designer Degree Options

There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to acquire the training necessary to begin your new profession in Casas Adobes AZ. Your decision will no doubt be driven by your career objectives in addition to the money and time that you have to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in some states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum level of training required to enter the field. They take about 2 years to finish and programs are available at many Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that supply more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative components of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs supply advanced design training after acquiring a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialty majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are mainly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are usually completed in three to five years.

To work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be called for before a candidate can take the licensing examination.

Why Become an Interior Designer?

Casas Adobes 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 Design Schools

Now that you have decided on the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of reviewing your school options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the school has to be within driving distance from your Casas Adobes AZ residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will limit your options also. But selecting the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you should consider as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you compare and ultimately choose the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's important to make sure that the interior designer school and program that you select has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field 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 programs and instructors. Just verify that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are excellent, it may also help when obtaining 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 hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.

Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, 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) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States calling for licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. So in addition to providing an excellent education, the Casas Adobes AZ college you choose should also furnish the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy 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 received your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some help in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It could also signify that the school has a large network of Casas Adobes AZ business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Casas Adobes AZ schools you are evaluating and find out what type of assistance they offer. A number of interior designer programs offer financial aid to their new students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide help in securing grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.

How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Casas Adobes AZ programs you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Casas Adobes home, go to the campus and attend a few classes. While there speak with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior designer program you enroll in offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially 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, verify that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.

Choose the Right Interior Design College near Casas Adobes Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Casas Adobes ArizonaChoosing the ideal interior design school is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and fulfilling profession. Locating a college where you will obtain your training and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult job regardless of what field you have chosen. As with any endeavor to receive a higher education, there are a number of things to consider before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the business. But it is still imperative that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design programs so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with quality training and your determination to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Casas Adobes Arizona.