Home >> Arizona >> Sierra Vista >> Interior Design Classes


Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Sierra Vista AZ

How to Select the Best Interior Designer Course

Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design school near Sierra Vista AZ, it's time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's important that you receive the appropriate training to put your talents to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it's crucial that you do the proper research in order to assess and compare each school that you are considering before you make your final choice. But where do you begin? Some future students will kick off their research by looking for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are key issues when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into account as well. We will discuss those issues and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are reviewing 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.

Start Your Interior Design Career By Requesting Free Info on Local Schools Below

Interior Decoration vs Interior Design

interior designed living room in Sierra Vista AZ

Some people confuse interior design for interior decoration. The principal distinction 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 spaces. However, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates 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 taught to make living or work spaces functional as well as attractive. On some projects they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Sierra Vista AZ can specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers frequently focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.

There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, for example lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. They 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 including Feng shui concepts, Sierra Vista Arizona interior designers employ a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
 

Interior Designer Degree Options

There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to receive the training needed to begin your new profession in Sierra Vista AZ. Your decision will undoubtedly be motivated by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in a number of states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum amount of training required to enter the field. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are offered at many Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can typically 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 creative and technical aspects of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced design training after acquiring a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives in specialized majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mostly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.

To work professionally and use 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 required before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.

Interior Design Online Classes

Sierra Vista AZ student attending interior design school onlineFor students who wish to study in the comfort of their Sierra Vista AZ homes, there are accredited online interior design degrees. Attending classes online can be a great alternative for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For some students online programs may be the sole alternative if no interior design schools are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Additional costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the college you enroll in is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the dedication to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the ideal alternative for you.

Subjects to Ask Interior Design Programs

After you have chosen the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of reviewing your school options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the school has to be within commuting distance from your Sierra Vista AZ residence. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will decrease your choices also. But picking the least expensive college or the one that is closest to home are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other things that you need to look at also, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a list of questions that you may want to ask the programs you are looking at to get those answers as well as others to help you assess and subsequently choose the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's necessary to make sure that the interior designer program and school that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive 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 verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it might also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Sierra Vista Arizona employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.

Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, 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) exam as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States mandating licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to furnishing an exceptional education, the Sierra Vista AZ school you enroll in should also furnish the proper training to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be working.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will no doubt need some help in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It might also signify that the college has a sizable network of Sierra Vista AZ business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Sierra Vista AZ colleges you are reviewing and find out what kind of assistance they provide. Many of interior designer schools offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Some schools offer partial scholarships while others provide support in obtaining grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.

How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Sierra Vista AZ programs you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Sierra Vista home, go to the school 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 approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior design school you choose provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Sierra Vista AZ, confirm that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.

Choose the Best Interior Design Program near Sierra Vista Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Sierra Vista ArizonaSelecting the right interior designer school is a crucial first step toward launching your career in this artistic and fulfilling profession. Locating a school where you will receive your training and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a challenging task no matter what major you have decided on. As with any endeavor to receive a higher education, there are many 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 regarded in the business. But it is still imperative that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design schools so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Sierra Vista Arizona.