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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Casas Adobes AZ

How to Select the Best Interior Design Degree Program

Now that 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 spaces, it's important that you receive the proper training to put your talents to work. And since several states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's essential that you perform the appropriate research in order to assess and compare each program that you are looking at before you make your final selection. But exactly where do you start? A number of prospective students will begin their research by searching for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are relevant variables when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into account as well. We will cover those issues and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But before we do, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training choices are offered.

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Interior Design vs Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Casas Adobes AZ

Some people confuse interior decoration for interior design. The principal distinction between them is the amount of training required. Anyone can do business 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 a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make living or work areas attractive as well as functional. On many occasions they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad areas that an interior designer in Casas Adobes AZ may specialize in:

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

There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, for example lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui concepts, Casas Adobes Arizona interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final creations.
 

Interior Designer Degrees

There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to acquire the training needed to launch your new profession in Casas Adobes AZ. Your decision 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, be sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in a number of states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum amount of training needed to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to complete and programs are available at many Arizona community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that provide more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical components of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced design training after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide alternatives in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mostly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 years.

To work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be required before a candidate can take the licensing examination.

Why Do You Want to Be 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.

Topics to Ask Interior Design Schools

After you have chosen the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of assessing your school options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the school must be within driving distance from your Casas Adobes AZ home. Obviously if you have decided on attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will decrease your options also. But choosing the cheapest school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you should look at as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are considering to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and ultimately choose the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's necessary to verify that the interior designer program and school that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are exceptional, it may also help when securing 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 programs for entry level positions.

Does the College Prep 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) exam as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore besides providing an exceptional education, the Casas Adobes AZ school you enroll in should also provide the proper training to pass the NCIDQ examination 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? Once you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its students are sought after. It may also indicate that the college has a significant network of Casas Adobes AZ business connections where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial aid offices for the Casas Adobes AZ colleges you are reviewing and find out what kind of support they offer. A number of interior designer colleges provide financial aid to their new students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide help in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual instruction 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 monitor a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Available 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 will continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Casas Adobes AZ, make sure that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.

Choose the Best Interior Designer College near Casas Adobes Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Casas Adobes ArizonaSelecting the ideal interior design college is a crucial first step toward launching your career in this creative and gratifying profession. Finding a school where you will obtain your education and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a difficult job regardless of what major you have decided on. As with any endeavor to receive an advanced education, there are several points to consider before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, verify that the program and design college are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. But it is still imperative that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations provided 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 excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Casas Adobes Arizona.