How to Select an Interior Designer Degree Program near Palo Verde Arizona
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design college near Palo Verde AZ, it’s time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial spaces, it’s imperative that you receive the appropriate training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it’s essential that you perform the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each college that you are looking at prior to making your final selection. But just where do you start? A number of potential students will kick off their research by searching for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are important factors when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation must be taken into account also. We will address those issues and other important 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 options are offered.
Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration
Some people confuse interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The main distinction between them is the level of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, doing business as an interior designer requires formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make living or work spaces attractive as well as functional. On various occasions they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad areas that an interior designer in Palo Verde AZ may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers often focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over looks as the main concern.
There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers have 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 principles, Palo Verde AZ interior designers employ a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
Interior Design Degree Options
There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to acquire the training necessary to start your new career in Palo Verde AZ. Your decision will no doubt be motivated by your career objectives in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in several states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum amount of education required to enter the field. They take about 2 years to finish and programs are available at numerous Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that furnish more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical facets of the business required 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 2 year programs provide advanced training in design after achieving a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer choices in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are largely for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 years.
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 several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required before an applicant can take the licensing examination.
Online Interior Designer Colleges
For individuals who wish to study in the comfort of their Palo Verde AZ homes, there are accredited online interior design schools. Attending classes online can be a great solution for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For many students online programs may be the only option if no interior design schools are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Additional expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make certain that the program you select is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Design Colleges
Now that you have selected the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of assessing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the college has to be within commuting distance from your Palo Verde AZ residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending a school online, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will limit your choices also. But choosing the least expensive college or the one that is closest to home are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you need to look at also, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are considering to get those answers in addition to others to help you assess and subsequently select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It’s essential to make sure that the interior design program and school that you select has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous evaluation of their programs and teachers. Just make sure 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 establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Palo Verde AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would require 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 calling for licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore in addition to furnishing an exceptional education, the Palo Verde AZ school you enroll in should also furnish the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be working.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession and its students are sought after. It may also signify that the school has a significant network of Palo Verde AZ business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Palo Verde AZ colleges you are looking at and ask what kind of assistance they offer. Many of interior design colleges offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Some schools offer partial scholarships while others provide help in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Palo Verde AZ colleges you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Palo Verde home, visit the school and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior design program you enroll in provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Palo Verde AZ, confirm that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Considering Attending Interior Design School in Palo Verde AZ?
Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station
The Palo Verde Generating Station is a nuclear power plant located near Tonopah, Arizona, in western Arizona. It is located about 45 miles (72 km) due west of downtown Phoenix, Arizona, and it is located near the Gila River, which is dry save for the rainy season in late summer.
The Palo Verde Generating Station is the largest power plant in the United States by net generation. Its average electric power production is about 3.3 gigawatts (GW), and this power serves about four million people. The Arizona Public Service Company (APS) operates and owns 29.1% of the plant. Its other major owners include the Salt River Project (17.5%), the El Paso Electric Company (15.8%), Southern California Edison (15.8%), PNM Resources (10.2%), the Southern California Public Power Authority (5.9%), and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (5.7%).
The Palo Verde Generating Station is located in the Arizona desert, and is the only large nuclear power plant in the world that is not located near a large body of water. The power plant evaporates the water from the treated sewage from several nearby cities and towns to provide the cooling of the steam that it produces.
Choose the Right Interior Design School near Palo Verde AZ
Choosing the right interior designer school is an important initial step toward launching your career in this creative and fulfilling profession. Locating a school where you will obtain your training and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a difficult job regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any undertaking to recieve an advanced education, there are a number of things to think about before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. However it is still imperative that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare colleges so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Palo Verde AZ.
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