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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near San Luis AZ

How to Choose the Best Interior Design Course

Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design degree program near San Luis AZ, it's time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's essential that you obtain the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it's crucial that you perform the appropriate research so that you can analyze and compare each college that you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection. But just where do you begin? Many prospective students will kick off their research by searching for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are important variables when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into account also. We will address those issues and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But first, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training choices are available.

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Interior Decoration vs Interior Design

interior designed living room in San Luis AZ

Many people mistake interior decoration for interior design. The key difference between the two is the amount of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer requires formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or residential areas functional as well as attractive. On various occasions they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are two broad areas that an interior designer in San Luis AZ may specialize in:

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

There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, for example 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 picking carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui concepts, San Luis Arizona interior designers employ a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
 

Interior Designer Degrees

There are four degree options offered in interior design to obtain the training necessary to launch your new profession in San Luis AZ. Your selection will no doubt be influenced by your career objectives in addition to the money and time that you have to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in a number of states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum amount of education needed to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to finish and programs are available at many Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that supply more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical aspects of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced design training after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide alternatives in specialized 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. Doctoral degrees are largely 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 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 colleges become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be called for before a candidate can take the licensing examination.

Why Do You Want to Be 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.

Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Programs

Now that you have chosen the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of reviewing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your San Luis AZ home. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will limit your choices as well. But choosing the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to your house are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other things that you should consider as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a few concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are considering to get those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and ultimately pick the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's important to verify that the interior design program and college that you choose has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just confirm 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 establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when applying for 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 employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.

Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required as well. So besides providing an exceptional education, the San Luis AZ program you select 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 employed.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will probably want some support in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its graduates are in demand. It might also indicate that the college has a substantial network of San Luis AZ business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the San Luis AZ colleges you are reviewing and find out what type of aid they offer. Many of interior design colleges offer financial aid to their incoming students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the San Luis AZ schools you are considering what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your San Luis home, visit the school and monitor a couple of 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 Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior design college you choose offers 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 at night or on weekends near San Luis AZ, confirm that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.

Choose the Best Interior Designer Program near San Luis Arizona

interior designed kitchen in San Luis ArizonaSelecting the right interior designer school is a crucial first step toward starting your career in this artistic and rewarding profession. Finding a college where you will obtain your training and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a difficult task regardless of what field you have decided on. As with any endeavor to acquire an advanced education, there are a number of things to consider before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, check that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the field. However it is still essential that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design colleges 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.