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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Casas Adobes AZ

How to Select the Best Interior Design School

Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer 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 commercial or residential spaces, it's imperative that you receive the appropriate 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 may need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's vital that you carry out the proper research so that you can evaluate and compare each school that you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection. But where do you begin? Many future 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 issues when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation should be considered also. We will cover those issues and other important 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 class alternatives are offered.

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Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Casas Adobes AZ

Often people mistake interior design for interior decoration. The primary distinction between them is the amount of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or residential spaces attractive as well as functional. On various projects they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Casas Adobes AZ may specialize in:

  • Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial areas, designers often focus 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 stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the main consideration.

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

Interior Designer Degree Options

There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to obtain the training necessary to begin your new career in Casas Adobes AZ. Your selection will undoubtedly be influenced by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you opt 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 some states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum amount of training needed to enter the profession. They take about 2 years to finish and programs are offered at many Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can typically obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that supply more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative facets of the business needed to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced training in design after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are primarily for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary 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 degree programs become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be called for before an applicant can take the licensing exam.

Subjects to Ask Interior Design Programs

Casas Adobes Arizona interior designer bathroomNow that you have chosen the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of assessing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the school must be within driving distance from your Casas Adobes AZ home. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will narrow down your options also. But selecting the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you should look at as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a few questions that you may want to ask the schools you are looking at to obtain those answers as well as others to help you examine and subsequently choose the right degree program.

Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's imperative to verify that the interior designer program and school that you choose has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected 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 assessment 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 organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are excellent, it might also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Casas Adobes Arizona employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.

Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some 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 college. And in some of those States mandating licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore aside from furnishing an exceptional education, the Casas Adobes AZ school you enroll in should also provide the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be working.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design profession and its students are sought after. It might also signify that the college has a large network of Casas Adobes AZ business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Casas Adobes AZ schools you are evaluating and find out what kind of aid they offer. A number of interior design programs offer financial aid to their incoming students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Casas Adobes AZ schools you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Casas Adobes home, visit the school and monitor a few classes. While there speak with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior designer college you enroll in provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend 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 option as well. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.

Enroll in the Right Interior Design School near Casas Adobes Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Casas Adobes ArizonaChoosing the right interior design college is a crucial first step toward starting your career in this artistic and rewarding occupation. Searching for a college where you will obtain your training and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting job no matter what major you have chosen. As with any undertaking to acquire a higher education, there are several factors to consider before choosing a school, program, or course. At a minimum, make sure that the design college and program are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. However it is still imperative that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design programs so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Casas Adobes Arizona.