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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Casas Adobes AZ

How to Pick the Best Interior Design Program

Once 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 gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's imperative that you get the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's very important that you carry out the proper research in order to assess and compare each college that you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection. But where do you begin? A number of potential students will start their research by looking for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are important variables when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation must be taken into account also. We will discuss those topics and other crucial questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But before we do, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class alternatives are offered.

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Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design

interior designed living room in Casas Adobes AZ

Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design. The primary distinction between the two is the level of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a basic 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 Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or living areas functional as well as attractive. On many projects they may work together with architects and building engineers. 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, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers normally 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 may focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.

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

Interior Design Degree Options

There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to receive the training needed to start your new career in Casas Adobes AZ. Your choice will undoubtedly be driven by your career objectives in addition to the money and time that you have to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, be 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 a number of states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits 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 required to enter the profession. They take approximately two years to complete and programs are available at many Arizona community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that deliver more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative aspects of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced design training after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide alternatives in specialty majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are primarily for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are typically completed in three to five years.

To work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate 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 take the licensing exam.

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

Once you have selected the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of evaluating your school options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the school needs to be within driving distance from your Casas Adobes AZ home. Naturally if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will limit your choices as well. But picking the cheapest college or the one that is closest to home are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you should look at as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a list of questions that you may want to ask the programs you are looking at to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and subsequently pick the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's important to confirm that the interior designer program and school that you choose has been accredited by either a national or regional organization. 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 an extensive assessment of their teachers and programs. Just make sure that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are outstanding, it may 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 programs for entry level positions.

Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several 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 some of those States calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required as well. So besides furnishing an excellent education, the Casas Adobes AZ school you choose should also provide the proper education to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some support in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It might also signify that the college has a substantial network of Casas Adobes AZ business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Casas Adobes AZ schools you are reviewing and ask what type of aid they offer. Many of interior design programs provide financial aid to their new students. Some schools provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.

How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Casas Adobes AZ schools you are considering what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Casas Adobes home, visit the school and sit in on a couple of classes. While there speak with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior design college you select offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Casas Adobes AZ, confirm that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Enroll in the Best Interior Design College near Casas Adobes Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Casas Adobes ArizonaPicking the ideal interior designer college is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this creative and fulfilling profession. Finding a college where you will receive your training and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting task no matter what field you have decided on. As with any undertaking to acquire an advanced education, there are a number of points to think about before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. But it is still imperative that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Casas Adobes Arizona.