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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Sierra Vista AZ

How to Enroll in the Right Interior Designer School

Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near Sierra Vista AZ, it's time to begin 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 receive the proper training to put your skills to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it's very important that you perform the appropriate research so that you can evaluate and compare each program that you are looking at before you make your final selection. But exactly where do you start? Some potential students will begin their research by searching for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are key issues when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into consideration as well. We will address those issues and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class alternatives are offered.

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Interior Design vs Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Sierra Vista AZ

Often people confuse interior decoration for interior design. The key distinction between them is the amount of education 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, working as an interior designer requires a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or residential spaces functional as well as attractive. On some projects they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Sierra Vista AZ can specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any room of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers normally focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary concern.

There are numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, for example color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui concepts, Sierra Vista Arizona interior designers implement a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
 

Interior Design Degree Programs

There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to obtain the training needed to begin your new career in Sierra Vista AZ. Your selection will no doubt be influenced 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 select one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in a number of states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum amount of training required to enter the profession. They take about 2 years to complete and programs are offered at many Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can typically qualify for 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 aspects of the business needed 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 furnish advanced design training after acquiring a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer options in specialized majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are largely for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 years.

In order to work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required before an applicant can take the licensing examination.

Topics to Ask Interior Designer Colleges

Sierra Vista Arizona interior designer bathroomNow that you have chosen the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of analyzing your school options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the college needs to be within driving distance from your Sierra Vista AZ residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will decrease your choices also. But picking the most affordable school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other things that you need to look at as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a list of questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are reviewing to get those answers in addition to others to help you compare and subsequently choose the right degree program.

Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's essential to verify that the interior design college and program that you select 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 receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Sierra Vista Arizona employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.

Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do mandate that interior designers get 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 calling for licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required as well. So aside from furnishing an outstanding education, the Sierra Vista AZ program you choose should also provide the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be working.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will probably need some help in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It could also signify that the school has a significant network of Sierra Vista AZ business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial aid offices for the Sierra Vista AZ schools you are evaluating and ask what type of assistance they offer. Many of interior design schools provide financial aid to their incoming students. Various schools offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Small are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Sierra Vista AZ programs you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Sierra Vista home, visit the campus and attend a couple of classes. While there speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior design college you choose provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Sierra Vista AZ, verify that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Enroll in the Best Interior Designer School near Sierra Vista Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Sierra Vista ArizonaPicking the ideal interior designer school is an important initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and rewarding occupation. Finding a school where you will receive your training and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting job regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any undertaking to attain a higher education, there are many things to think about before choosing a school, program, or course. At a minimum, verify that the design college and program are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. However it is still important that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Sierra Vista Arizona.