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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near San Luis AZ

How to Pick the Right Interior Design School

Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer degree program near San Luis AZ, it's time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's important that you receive the appropriate training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some 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 do the proper research in order to analyze and compare each college that you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection. But where do you begin? Some potential students will begin their research by looking for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are important issues when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation must be considered as well. We will cover those topics 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 offered.

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Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design

interior designed living room in San Luis AZ

Some people confuse interior decoration for interior design. The main distinction between them is the amount of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. However, working as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or living spaces attractive as well as functional. On some occasions they may work together 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 existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Designing. When working on public or commercial areas, designers frequently focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.

There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, for example color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. They have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design 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 offered in interior design to acquire the training needed to begin your new career in San Luis AZ. Your choice will undoubtedly be influenced by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have 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 needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in some states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum amount of education needed to enter the field. They take roughly two years to complete and programs are offered at a number of Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can usually obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that provide more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical facets of the business needed to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced design training after achieving the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer choices in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mostly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree 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", many states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be called for before an applicant can take the licensing examination.

Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Colleges

San Luis Arizona interior designer bathroomWhen you have decided on the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of evaluating your school options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the college needs to be within driving distance from your San Luis AZ residence. Naturally 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 choices as well. But picking the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to home are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you should consider as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a few concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are considering to get those answers in addition to others to help you examine and subsequently pick the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's imperative to make sure that the interior design college and program that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive assessment of their programs and instructors. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are outstanding, it might also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of San Luis Arizona employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.

Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as 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 furnishing an outstanding education, the San Luis AZ college you select should also furnish the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet 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 earned your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its students are sought after. It may also signify that the college has a substantial network of San Luis AZ business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with 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 schools provide financial assistance to their new students. Various schools offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the San Luis AZ schools you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your San Luis home, visit the school and sit in on a few classes. While there speak 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 Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior designer program you enroll in offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near San Luis AZ, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an option also. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.

Enroll in the Best Interior Design College near San Luis Arizona

interior designed kitchen in San Luis ArizonaSelecting the right interior design college is an important initial step toward launching your career in this creative and gratifying profession. Locating a college where you will receive your education and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a challenging job no matter what field you have selected. As with any endeavor to attain an advanced education, there are many points to think about before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, confirm that the design college and program are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. However it is still essential that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design colleges 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 San Luis Arizona.