How to Choose an Interior Designer Program near Duncan Arizona
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near Duncan AZ, it’s time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial interiors, it’s essential that you get the proper training to put your skills to work. And since several states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s very important that you carry out the proper research so that you can evaluate and compare each college that you are looking at before you make your ultimate selection. But where do you start? Some potential students will start their research by looking for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are key factors when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation need to be considered also. We will discuss those issues and other vital questions that you must ask 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 alternatives are available.
Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration
Often people confuse interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The principal distinction between them is the amount of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, working as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make living or work areas functional as well as attractive. On some projects they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are two general areas that an interior designer in Duncan AZ may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers often concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.
There are numerous areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. They must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui principles, Duncan AZ interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
Interior Designer Degrees
There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to acquire the training required to begin your new profession in Duncan AZ. Your selection will no doubt be influenced by your career objectives as well as the money and time that you have to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, make certain to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in some states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees 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 commonly obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that provide more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative aspects of the business required to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced design training after acquiring a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide alternatives in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are largely for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work as a professional and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, many states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be needed before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.
Online Interior Designer Classes
For individuals who wish to study in the convenience of their Duncan AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design colleges. Attending classes online can be a good solution for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For many students online schools may be the only alternative if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Added expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated also. Just make sure that the school you pick is accredited by a respected accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the dedication to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Design Programs
When you have selected the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of assessing your college options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the school needs to be within driving distance from your Duncan AZ residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will limit your choices as well. But selecting the least expensive college or the one that is closest to home are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you need to look at also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a few questions that you may want to ask the schools you are looking at to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and ultimately choose the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It’s important to make sure that the interior design college and program that you choose has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding 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 agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are outstanding, it might also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Duncan AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some 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 program. And in several of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required also. So in addition to providing an exceptional education, the Duncan AZ program you select should also provide the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ exam 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 earned your interior designer certification, you will probably need some help in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent 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 indicate that the school has a sizable network of Duncan AZ business connections where they can place students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Duncan AZ schools you are looking at and find out what type of support they provide. Many of interior design colleges provide financial aid to their incoming students. Various schools provide partial scholarships while others provide support in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Duncan AZ schools you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Duncan home, visit the college and monitor a few classes. While there talk with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior design school you select provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Duncan AZ, make certain that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Considering Attending Interior Design School in Duncan AZ?
Duncan is in the Gila River valley, 4 miles (6 km) west of the Arizona-New Mexico border. The town limits are on both sides of the Gila, but the primary portion of the town and the entire downtown area lie on the south side of the river. Duncan was founded in the mid 19th century, and the land was added to the United States as a part of the Mexican Cession. The town of Duncan has been destroyed twice by flood and once by fire.
The town and area are primarily populated by ranchers and miners (especially from the Freeport-McMoran copper mines in southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico). Surrounding smaller towns such as Franklin and York in Arizona and Virden, New Mexico, use Duncan public works and public schools. The Duncan area along the Gila River is renowned for Native American artifacts such as arrow heads, pottery, burial sites, cave paintings and other remnants of the Anasazi and other pre-historic cultures, as well as artifacts from garrison camps of the expedition of Francisco Vázquez de Coronado.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor was born in El Paso, Texas, but grew up near Duncan on the Lazy B ranch, which straddles the border between Arizona and New Mexico. The Day family ran the ranch for many years until selling it; it continues to be run as a ranch. O'Connor later wrote a book titled Lazy B: Growing up on a Cattle Ranch in the American Southwest about her childhood experiences on the ranch with her brother H. Alan Day.
Select the Ideal Interior Design School near Duncan AZ
Selecting the right interior design school is a critical initial step toward launching your career in this creative and gratifying profession. Searching for a college where you will receive your training and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult task no matter what major you have selected. As with any undertaking to recieve a higher education, there are many points to think about before choosing a school, program, or course. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. However it is still important that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare colleges so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with quality training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Duncan AZ.
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