Home >> Arizona >> Sierra Vista >> Interior Design Programs


Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Sierra Vista AZ

How to Pick the Right Interior Design Program

Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Sierra Vista AZ, it's time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's imperative that you get the right training to put your skills to work. And since several states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's crucial that you carry out the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each program that you are looking at before you make your ultimate choice. But where do you start? Some prospective students will launch their research by looking for interior design courses 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. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into consideration as well. We will cover those issues and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But before we do, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training choices are offered.

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

Interior Design vs Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Sierra Vista AZ

Many people mistake interior decoration for interior design. The main difference between them is the level of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates formal training 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 spaces attractive as well as functional. On many occasions they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Sierra Vista AZ may specialize in:

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

There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. They must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui principles, Sierra Vista Arizona interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final creations.
 

Interior Designer Degrees

There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to get the training necessary to start your new career in Sierra Vista AZ. Your decision will undoubtedly be driven by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in several states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum amount of training required to enter the profession. They take approximately 2 years to complete and programs are offered at a number of Arizona community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can typically obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative components of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs provide advanced training in design after acquiring the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mainly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are usually 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 some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be required before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.

Why Study to Become an Interior Designer?

Sierra Vista 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.

What to Ask Interior Designer Schools

Once you have chosen the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of assessing your school options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the school must be within driving distance from your Sierra Vista AZ residence. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will limit your options as well. But selecting the most affordable school or the one that is nearest to home are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you need to consider as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a few concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you examine and subsequently choose the right degree program.

Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's important to verify that the interior designer college and program that you select has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment of their programs and teachers. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are excellent, it may also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Sierra Vista Arizona employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.

Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from providing an excellent education, the Sierra Vista AZ college you enroll in should also provide the proper training to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be working.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the colleges 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 a good indication that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It might also signify that the college has a large network of Sierra Vista AZ business connections where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Available? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Sierra Vista AZ colleges you are looking at and find out what type of assistance they provide. Many of interior design programs provide financial assistance to their new students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide assistance in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Sierra Vista AZ programs you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Sierra Vista home, go to the college and monitor 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? Last, make certain that the interior design program you select offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Sierra Vista AZ, verify that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.

Choose the Right Interior Design Program near Sierra Vista Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Sierra Vista ArizonaSelecting the ideal interior designer college is a crucial first step toward launching your career in this artistic and gratifying profession. Searching for a school where you will receive your training and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a daunting task no matter what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to receive a higher education, there are several things to think about before choosing a school, program, or course. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the business. But it is still imperative that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Sierra Vista Arizona.