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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near San Luis AZ

How to Find the Right Interior Design Program

Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design college near San Luis AZ, it's time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's important that you get the proper training to put your talents to work. And since several states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's crucial that you carry out the appropriate research in order to evaluate and compare each college that you are reviewing before you make your ultimate selection. But where do you start? 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 variables when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation must be considered also. We will address those issues and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But first, 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 Design and Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in San Luis AZ

Many people mistake interior decoration for interior design. The main difference between the two is the level 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. However, conducting business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make living or work areas functional as well as attractive. On many projects they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are two 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 basically any room of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers often focus predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to 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 may focus more on functionality over appearance as the main consideration.

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

Interior Design Training Programs

There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to get the training needed to start 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 to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in a number of states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum level of education required to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to finish and programs are available at many Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that deliver more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical aspects of the business required to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs supply advanced design training after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs 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 generally completed in 3 to 5 years.

To work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be needed before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.

Interior Designer Online Colleges

San Luis AZ student attending interior design school onlineFor students who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their San Luis AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design degrees. Attending classes online can be a good solution for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For many students online schools may be the only option if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Additional expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the college you enroll in is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the discipline to obtain your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the perfect option for you.

Questions to Ask Interior Design Programs

Once you have decided on the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of reviewing your school options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the school has to be within driving distance from your San Luis AZ home. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will narrow down your options also. But selecting the most affordable school or the one that is closest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you need to look at as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are considering to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and ultimately pick the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the interior designer program and college that you enroll in has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it may also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many San Luis Arizona employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.

Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of occupational experience may be required also. So aside from furnishing an excellent education, the San Luis AZ program you choose should also provide the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be working.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will probably want some support in finding your first job. Ask the programs 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 an excellent indication that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its students are sought after. It might also indicate that the college has a substantial network of San Luis AZ business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial aid departments for the San Luis AZ colleges you are evaluating and ask what kind of assistance they offer. Many of interior design schools provide financial assistance to their new students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide support in obtaining grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the San Luis AZ programs you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your San Luis home, visit the campus and sit in on a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior design college you choose offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important 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 option also. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Enroll in the Best Interior Design College near San Luis Arizona

interior designed kitchen in San Luis ArizonaPicking the ideal interior design program is a crucial initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and rewarding profession. Finding a school where you will obtain your education and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a challenging job no matter what field you have chosen. As with any undertaking to acquire an advanced education, there are several factors to think about before choosing a school, program, or course. At a minimum, verify that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. However it is still essential that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design schools so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in San Luis Arizona.