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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near San Luis AZ

How to Find the Best Interior Design Program

Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer college near San Luis AZ, it's time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's important that you obtain the right training to put your skills to work. And since several states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's crucial that you perform the appropriate research in order to analyze and compare each college that you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate choice. But where do you start? A number of future students will begin their research by looking for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are important variables when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation must be considered as well. We will discuss those topics and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are interested in 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.

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Interior Decoration vs Interior Design

interior designed living room in San Luis AZ

Many people mistake interior design for interior decoration. The principal distinction between the two 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 areas. On the other hand, conducting 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 as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or residential areas functional as well as attractive. On some projects they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in San Luis AZ can 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 can specialize in designing one specific room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public areas, designers normally concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the primary concern.

There are numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, for example color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui principles, San Luis Arizona interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that help bring about their final creations.
 

Interior Designer Degree Options

There are four degree options offered in interior design to obtain the training necessary to launch your new profession in San Luis AZ. Your choice will no doubt be driven by your career objectives as well as the money and time that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, make certain to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in some states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum amount of training needed to enter the field. They take roughly two years to finish and programs are available at a number of Arizona community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can usually obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that supply more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative facets of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to obtain 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 offer options in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are mainly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary in length but are normally completed in three to five years.

In order to work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be needed before a candidate can take the licensing exam.

Topics to Ask Interior Designer Colleges

San Luis Arizona interior designer bathroomWhen you have selected the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the task of assessing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the school must be within commuting distance from your San Luis AZ home. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense 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 factors that you need to consider as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a few concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and subsequently pick the right degree program.

Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's important to confirm that the interior design program and college that you select has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive assessment of their programs and instructors. Just make sure that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of San Luis Arizona employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.

Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required also. So in addition to providing an outstanding education, the San Luis AZ program you enroll in should also provide the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be working.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some help in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design profession and its students are sought after. It may also indicate that the college has a significant network of San Luis AZ business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Available? Contact the financial aid departments for the San Luis AZ schools you are evaluating and find out what type of aid they provide. Many of interior design programs offer financial aid to their new students. Certain schools offer partial scholarships and others provide help in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Big are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the San Luis AZ schools you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your San Luis home, go to the college and monitor a few classes. While there talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior designer college you choose provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near San Luis AZ, make certain that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.

Enroll in the Best Interior Designer College near San Luis Arizona

interior designed kitchen in San Luis ArizonaPicking the right interior designer program is a critical first step toward launching your career in this artistic and gratifying occupation. Searching for a college where you will obtain your education and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a challenging job regardless of what field you have chosen. As with any undertaking to acquire an advanced education, there are a number of factors to think about before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. However it is still essential that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in San Luis Arizona.