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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near San Luis AZ

How to Find the Right Interior Designer Degree Program

Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer degree program near San Luis AZ, it's time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's imperative that you get the appropriate training to put your talents to work. And since several states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's crucial that you carry out the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each school that you are considering prior to making your final selection. But just where do you begin? Many prospective students will kick off their research by looking for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are important factors when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into account as well. We will address those issues and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But before we do, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class options are available.

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Interior Design and Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in San Luis AZ

Some people mistake interior design for interior decoration. The primary difference between them is the level of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, working as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or living areas attractive as well as functional. On many projects they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are two general areas that an interior designer in San Luis AZ may specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Designing. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers frequently focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.

There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, including color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui concepts, San Luis Arizona interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that contribute to their final designs.
 

Interior Design Training Programs

There are four degree options available in interior design to get the training required to launch your new profession in San Luis AZ. Your selection will undoubtedly be motivated 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 opt to enroll in, be sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in several states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum amount of education needed to enter the field. They take roughly 2 years to finish and programs are available at a number of Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that provide more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical aspects 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 supply advanced training in design after achieving a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer options in specialized majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mostly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 years.

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

What to Ask Interior Design Colleges

San Luis Arizona interior designer bathroomNow that you have selected the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of reviewing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the school has to be within commuting distance from your San Luis AZ residence. Naturally if you have decided on attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will limit your choices as well. But selecting the cheapest school or the one that is closest to home are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you need to consider as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a few questions that you may want to address with the schools you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and subsequently choose the right degree program.

Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the interior designer college and program that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. 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 an extensive evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. 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 requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of San Luis Arizona employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.

Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would require 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 mandating licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required also. So aside from providing an exceptional education, the San Luis AZ college you choose should also furnish the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be working.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It could also indicate that the college has a substantial network of San Luis AZ business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the San Luis AZ colleges you are evaluating and ask what kind of support they offer. Many of interior design colleges provide financial aid to their incoming students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide support in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Big are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the San Luis AZ schools you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your San Luis home, visit the college and sit in on a couple of classes. While there talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior design program you select provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near San Luis AZ, make sure that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.

Choose the Best Interior Designer Program near San Luis Arizona

interior designed kitchen in San Luis ArizonaSelecting the ideal interior design school is a critical initial step toward launching your career in this creative and gratifying occupation. Locating a college where you will receive your training and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a daunting task regardless of what field you have selected. As with any endeavor to attain an advanced education, there are a number of factors to consider before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the business. But it is still essential that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in San Luis Arizona.