Home >> Arizona >> Flagstaff >> Interior Design Degrees Online


Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Flagstaff AZ

How to Choose the Right Interior Designer College

Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer college near Flagstaff AZ, it's time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's important that you receive the appropriate training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it's essential that you carry out the proper research so that you can assess and compare each school that you are considering before you make your final choice. But where do you begin? Many prospective students will begin their research by searching for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are key variables when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into consideration also. We will cover those issues and other crucial questions that you must ask 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 options are available.

Start Your Interior Design Career By Requesting Free Info on Local Schools Below

Interior Decoration and Interior Design

interior designed living room in Flagstaff AZ

Many people mistake interior design for interior decoration. The principal distinction between the two is the level of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, working as an interior designer requires 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 residential spaces functional as well as attractive. On various occasions they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are two general areas that an interior designer in Flagstaff AZ can specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Design. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers frequently focus primarily 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 focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.

There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, including color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui concepts, Flagstaff Arizona interior designers implement a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
 

Interior Designer Degrees

There are 4 degree options available in interior design to get the training needed to launch your new career in Flagstaff AZ. Your selection will undoubtedly be influenced by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, be sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in some states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum level of education required to enter the profession. They take approximately 2 years to complete and programs are offered at a number of Arizona community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can usually 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 cover the technical and creative facets of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced design training after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are mainly 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.

In order to work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be called for before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.

Why Train to Become an Interior Designer?

Flagstaff 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.

Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Programs

Now that you have selected the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of assessing your college options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your Flagstaff AZ home. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will decrease your choices also. But picking the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you should look at as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a few concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others to help you assess and ultimately choose the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's essential to confirm that the interior designer college and program that you select has been accredited by 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). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment of their programs and teachers. Just make sure 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 confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are exceptional, it may also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Flagstaff Arizona employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.

Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do mandate that interior designers become 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 several of those States requiring licensing, a minimum of 2 years of occupational experience may be required also. So aside from providing an excellent education, the Flagstaff AZ program you enroll in should also furnish the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be working.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will probably want some help in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design field and its students are sought after. It may also indicate that the school has a sizable network of Flagstaff AZ business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial aid offices for the Flagstaff AZ schools you are looking at and ask what kind of assistance they provide. A number of interior design schools offer financial aid to their new students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships and others provide help in securing federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Flagstaff AZ colleges you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Flagstaff home, go to the college and monitor a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior designer school you enroll in provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Flagstaff AZ, verify that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.

Choose the Best Interior Designer School near Flagstaff Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Flagstaff ArizonaSelecting the ideal interior designer school is a crucial first step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding profession. Locating a college where you will obtain your training and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a challenging job regardless of what major you have decided on. As with any endeavor to attain an advanced education, there are many points to think about before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. But it is still imperative that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Flagstaff Arizona.