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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near San Luis AZ

How to Enroll in the Right Interior Designer Program

Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer school near San Luis AZ, it's time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's essential that you obtain the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's essential that you carry out the proper research so that you can assess and compare each college that you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision. But where do you begin? Some prospective students will kick off their research by looking for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are key issues when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to be considered as well. We will discuss those issues and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are researching 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 choices are available.

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Interior Decoration and Interior Design

interior designed living room in San Luis AZ

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

  • Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any room 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 areas, designers frequently focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.

There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, such as color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They need 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 concepts, San Luis Arizona interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
 

Interior Designer Degree Programs

There are four degree options available in interior design to obtain the training required to begin your new career in San Luis AZ. Your decision will no doubt be driven by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you decide 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) examination required in a number of states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum level of training required to enter the profession. They take approximately two years to complete and programs are available 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 deliver more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical facets of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student 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 achieving the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives in specialty majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mostly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 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 several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be required before an applicant can take the licensing examination.

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 Design Programs

Now that you have selected the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of reviewing your school options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your San Luis AZ home. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will limit your options as well. But selecting the most affordable school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you should look at as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a list of questions that you may want to address with the schools you are considering to get those answers as well as others to help you compare and subsequently pick the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's necessary to verify that the interior design program and college that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous assessment of their teachers and programs. Just verify that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are excellent, it may also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of San Luis Arizona employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.

Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States requiring licensing, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. So aside from providing an excellent education, the San Luis AZ school you choose should also provide the proper education to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained 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 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 graduates are in demand. It might also signify that the school has a large network of San Luis AZ business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the San Luis AZ schools you are evaluating and find out what kind of support they provide. A number of interior designer programs offer financial assistance to their new students. Various schools provide partial scholarships and others provide support in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the San Luis AZ colleges you are considering 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 speak with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior design college you enroll in provides classes the fit your hectic 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 San Luis AZ, make certain that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.

Choose the Best Interior Design School near San Luis Arizona

interior designed kitchen in San Luis ArizonaSelecting the ideal interior design program is a crucial first step toward starting your career in this artistic and rewarding profession. Locating a school where you will receive your training and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a difficult task regardless of what major you have selected. As with any undertaking to attain an advanced education, there are several factors to think about before enrolling in a program, course 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 research. By doing so and following the balance 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 excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in San Luis Arizona.