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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near San Luis AZ

How to Enroll in the Right Interior Design Course

Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer college near San Luis 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 essential that you receive the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's very important that you do the proper research in order to assess and compare each program that you are reviewing before you make your final choice. But just where do you start? Many future students will start their research by searching for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are key factors when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation should be considered also. We will discuss those issues 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 options are available.

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Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design

interior designed living room in San Luis AZ

Many people confuse interior decoration for interior design. The primary difference between them is the level of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, 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 spaces attractive as well as functional. On many occasions they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in San Luis AZ may specialize in:

  • Residential Designing. Interior Designers often 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 specific room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial areas, designers frequently focus predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may focus more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.

There are numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, including color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui principles, San Luis Arizona interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
 

Interior Design Training Programs

There are four degree options available in interior design to get the training necessary to start your new career in San Luis AZ. Your decision will undoubtedly be motivated by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in some states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum level of education required to enter the field. They take approximately 2 years to finish and programs are available at a number of Arizona community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that furnish more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical aspects of the trade required 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 two year programs furnish advanced design training after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer options in specialty majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mainly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are typically completed in three to five years.

In order to work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be needed before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.

Why Study to Become an Interior Designer?

San Luis 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 Designer Programs

After you have selected the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of analyzing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the school needs to be within driving distance from your San Luis AZ home. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will narrow down your choices also. But picking the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to home are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other things that you need to consider as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a few questions that you may want to address with the programs you are looking at to obtain those answers as well as others to help you examine and ultimately select the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's essential to confirm that the interior designer school and program that you enroll in has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding assessment of their programs and teachers. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of San Luis Arizona employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.

Does the School Prepare 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 college. And in several of those States calling for licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore aside from furnishing an exceptional education, the San Luis AZ program you enroll in should also provide the proper education to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It could also signify that the school has a sizable network of San Luis AZ business connections where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial aid departments for the San Luis AZ schools you are reviewing and ask what kind of assistance they offer. A number of interior design colleges provide financial aid to their new students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships while others provide support in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the San Luis AZ programs you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your San Luis home, go to the campus and attend a couple of classes. While there talk with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior design school you enroll in offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near San Luis AZ, make certain that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Enroll in the Best Interior Designer School near San Luis Arizona

interior designed kitchen in San Luis ArizonaPicking the ideal interior designer school is a crucial first step toward starting your career in this artistic and fulfilling profession. Finding a college where you will obtain your education and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a challenging job regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to receive a higher education, there are several points to think about before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. But it is still important that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design programs so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with quality training and your determination to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in San Luis Arizona.