Home >> Arizona >> Prescott Valley >> Interior Design Schools Online


Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Prescott Valley AZ

How to Choose the Right Interior Designer Program

Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design school near Prescott Valley 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 important that you get the right training to put your talents to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may 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 looking at before you make your ultimate choice. But exactly where do you begin? Many future students will kick off their research by looking for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are important variables when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation must be considered as well. We will discuss those topics and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class options are offered.

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

Interior Design vs Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Prescott Valley AZ

Many people confuse interior decoration for interior design. The primary difference between them is the level of education required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. However, 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 as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or residential areas functional as well as attractive. On some projects they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Prescott Valley AZ may specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any area of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers often concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.

There are numerous areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, including color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui principles, Prescott Valley Arizona interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
 

Interior Designer Training Programs

There are 4 degree options available in interior design to get the training necessary to start your new profession in Prescott Valley AZ. Your selection will undoubtedly be driven by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in some states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum level of education required to enter the profession. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are offered at a number of Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that supply more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative facets of the business required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs supply advanced training in design after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mainly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.

In order to work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be needed before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.

Interior Design Online Colleges

Prescott Valley AZ student attending interior design school onlineFor anyone wishing to study in the comfort of their Prescott Valley AZ homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Attending classes online can be a great alternative for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For a number of students online colleges may be the only option if no interior design schools are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated also. Just make sure that the college you select is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the ideal alternative for you.

Topics to Ask Interior Design Colleges

Now that you have selected the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of evaluating your college options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the college has to be within driving distance from your Prescott Valley AZ home. Naturally if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will narrow down your options 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 need to consider as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a few concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are reviewing to get those answers in addition to others to help you examine and subsequently select the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's necessary to confirm that the interior design college and program that you select has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous assessment of their instructors and programs. Just verify 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 establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are excellent, it might also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Prescott Valley Arizona employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.

Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of 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 some of those States calling for licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required also. So aside from providing an excellent education, the Prescott Valley AZ college you choose should also furnish the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will probably need some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It might also indicate that the school has a significant network of Prescott Valley AZ business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial aid departments for the Prescott Valley AZ colleges you are reviewing and find out what type of assistance they offer. A number of interior designer schools offer financial aid to their new students. Various schools provide partial scholarships and others provide support in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.

How Big are the Classrooms? 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. Ask the Prescott Valley AZ schools you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Prescott Valley home, go to the college and attend 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 styles are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior design program you enroll in provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Prescott Valley AZ, confirm that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option also. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.

Choose the Best Interior Design College near Prescott Valley Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Prescott Valley ArizonaChoosing the right interior design school is a crucial first step toward starting your career in this artistic and fulfilling profession. Locating a college where you will obtain your education and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult job no matter what field you have chosen. As with any endeavor to attain an advanced education, there are many points to think about before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the business. 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 properly review and compare interior design programs so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Prescott Valley Arizona.