How to Choose an Interior Design Course near Gilbert Arizona
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer school near Gilbert 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 spaces, it’s important that you receive the right training to put your skills to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it’s essential that you do the appropriate research in order to assess and compare each program that you are looking at before you make your ultimate choice. But just where do you begin? Some potential students will start their research by looking for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are key factors when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into consideration as well. We will cover those issues and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But before we do, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are available.
Interior Decoration and Interior Design
Some people confuse interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The principal distinction between them is the level of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. However, conducting business as an interior designer requires formal training and in many 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 various occasions they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Gilbert AZ can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any area of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers frequently focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may focus more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.
There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. They must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui principles, Gilbert AZ interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
Interior Design Degree Options
There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to obtain the training needed to launch your new profession in Gilbert AZ. Your selection will no doubt be driven by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in some states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum level of training needed to enter the field. They take about two years to complete and programs are offered at a number of Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can typically obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that deliver more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative facets of the business needed to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced design training after achieving a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer alternatives in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are primarily for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are generally completed in three to five years.
In order to work professionally 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 field experience may be needed before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.
Online Interior Design Schools
For individuals who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their Gilbert AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design colleges. Attending classes online can be a good alternative for those students that are employed or have hectic 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 programs are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Added costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated also. Just be sure that the college you choose is accredited by a recognized 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 dedication to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the perfect option for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Design Schools
After you have decided on the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of evaluating your school options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the college has to be within commuting distance from your Gilbert AZ home. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will limit your choices as well. But choosing the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to home are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you need to consider also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a few concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others to help you compare and ultimately select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It’s imperative to confirm that the interior design program and college that you select has been accredited by 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). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive assessment of their programs and instructors. Just make sure 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 school and the quality of the training are excellent, it may also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Gilbert AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, 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 some of those States requiring licensing, a minimum of 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to furnishing an excellent education, the Gilbert AZ school you choose should also furnish the proper education to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be working.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will probably need some support in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out 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 graduates are in demand. It could also signify that the school has a significant network of Gilbert AZ business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Contact the financial aid departments for the Gilbert AZ colleges you are looking at and ask what type of assistance they provide. Many of interior designer schools provide financial assistance to their new students. Various schools offer partial scholarships while others provide assistance in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Gilbert AZ colleges you are reviewing what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Gilbert home, go to the school and monitor a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, verify 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 going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Gilbert AZ, confirm that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Considering Attending Interior Design School in Gilbert AZ?
Gilbert is a town in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States, located southeast of Phoenix, within the Phoenix metropolitan area. Once known as the "Hay Shipping Capital of the World", It is the sixth-largest municipality in Arizona, and the fifth-largest in the Metropolitan Phoenix Area.
Gilbert encompasses 76 square miles (197 km2) and has made a rapid transformation from an agriculture-based community to an economically diverse suburban center located in the southeast valley of the Greater Phoenix area. In the last three decades, Gilbert has grown at an extremely high rate, increasing in population from 5,717 in 1980 to 208,453 as of the 2010 census. The town grew at an average annual growth rate of nearly 13% during this 30-year period. In 2017, the town's population was estimated to be at 242,354.
Gilbert owes its beginnings to William "Bobby" Gilbert who provided land to the Arizona Eastern Railway in 1902 to construct a rail line between Phoenix and Florence, Arizona. Ayer's Grocery Store, the first store in Gilbert, opened in 1910 and became the location of the first post office in 1912. The location of the town post office moved several times before settling on the east side of Gilbert Road in downtown, where it still stands today. In 1912, many Mormons who had fled the Mormon colonies in Mexico due to the actions of the forces of Pancho Villa settled in Gilbert. By 1915, they began holding church meetings at the Gilbert Elementary School. In 1918, they were organized into the Gilbert Ward.
Find the Ideal Interior Design School near Gilbert AZ
Choosing the ideal interior design program is an important initial step toward launching your career in this creative and fulfilling profession. Searching for a school where you will obtain your training and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a difficult task regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to attain an advanced education, there are a number of factors to think about before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design college are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. However it is still important that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare schools so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Gilbert AZ.
More Awesome Cities in Arizona
Business Results 1 - 10 of 229