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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Casas Adobes AZ

How to Find the Best Interior Design School

Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Casas Adobes 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 essential that you obtain the right training to put your talents to work. And since some states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's essential that you do the proper research so that you can analyze and compare each school that you are reviewing before you make your ultimate decision. But where do you start? Many potential students will begin their research by searching for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are important factors when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation should be considered also. We will address those topics and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are reviewing 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 alternatives are offered.

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Interior Design vs Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Casas Adobes AZ

Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design. The principal difference between them is the level of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, working as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in a number of 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 some projects they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general areas 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, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers often concentrate predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.

There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, for example lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui principles, Casas Adobes Arizona interior designers employ a wide range of skills that help bring about their final designs.
 

Interior Design Degree Programs

There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to obtain the training needed to start your new profession in Casas Adobes AZ. Your decision will undoubtedly be motivated by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in some states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum amount of training needed to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to finish and programs are offered at numerous Arizona community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can typically obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that provide more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical aspects of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs provide advanced training in design after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer options in specialty majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees 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 generally completed in three to five years.

In order to work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be called for before an applicant can take the licensing exam.

Questions to Ask Interior Designer Colleges

Casas Adobes Arizona interior designer bathroomAfter you have decided on the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of evaluating your school options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the college needs to be within driving distance from your Casas Adobes AZ home. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will decrease your options as well. But picking the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you need to look at as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a few questions that you may want to ask the schools you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and ultimately choose the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's imperative to make sure that the interior design program and school that you enroll in has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment 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 school and the quality of the training are exceptional, it might also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Casas Adobes Arizona employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.

Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States requiring licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from providing an excellent education, the Casas Adobes AZ college you choose should also furnish the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the programs 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 indication that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade 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 place students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Available? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Casas Adobes AZ colleges you are reviewing and find out what type of aid they offer. Many of interior designer programs provide financial aid to their new students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Casas Adobes AZ programs you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Casas Adobes home, go to the campus and sit in on a few classes. While there speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior design college you choose provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Casas Adobes AZ, verify that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Enroll in the Right Interior Designer School near Casas Adobes Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Casas Adobes ArizonaChoosing the ideal interior designer program is an important first step toward launching your career in this creative and fulfilling occupation. Locating a college where you will receive your education and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult job regardless of what field you have decided on. As with any endeavor to attain a higher education, there are several points to consider before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the field. However it is still important that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance 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 excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Casas Adobes Arizona.