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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Apache Junction AZ

How to Pick the Right Interior Designer Program

Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design college near Apache Junction 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 essential that you receive the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it's crucial that you do the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each program that you are looking at prior to making your ultimate choice. But exactly where do you start? A number of future students will launch their research by looking for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are key factors when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into account also. We will cover those issues and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are reviewing 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 choices are available.

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Interior Decoration and Interior Design

interior designed living room in Apache Junction AZ

Some people mistake interior design for interior decoration. The key difference 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 areas. However, working as an interior designer necessitates a formal education 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 functional as well as attractive. On some projects they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Apache Junction AZ may specialize in:

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

There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, including lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Apache Junction Arizona interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final designs.
 

Interior Designer Degree Options

There are four degree options available in interior design to acquire the training necessary to launch your new profession in Apache Junction AZ. Your selection 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 regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, be sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in a number of states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum amount of training required to enter the profession. They take about 2 years to complete and programs are available at a number of Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can normally 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 deal with the technical and creative components of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced design training after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mainly for those professionals who wish 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 use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be needed before an applicant can take the licensing exam.

Why Do You Want to Be an Interior Designer?

Apache Junction 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.

Topics to Ask Interior Designer Programs

Once you have selected the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of reviewing your college options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the school has to be within commuting distance from your Apache Junction AZ residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will narrow down your choices also. But selecting the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you should consider as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a list of questions that you may want to ask the schools you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others to help you compare and subsequently choose the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's imperative to verify that the interior designer college and program that you enroll in 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 obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding assessment 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 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 applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Apache Junction Arizona employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.

Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required also. So besides furnishing an outstanding education, the Apache Junction AZ program you choose should also provide the proper training to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will probably need some help in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It may also signify that the school has a substantial network of Apache Junction AZ business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Apache Junction AZ colleges you are looking at and find out what type of support they provide. A number of interior designer schools provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide help in obtaining federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.

How Big are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Apache Junction AZ schools you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Apache Junction home, go to the school and sit in on a couple of classes. While there speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior design school you enroll in provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Apache Junction AZ, verify that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.

Enroll in the Best Interior Design Program near Apache Junction Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Apache Junction ArizonaChoosing the right interior designer college is a crucial initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and rewarding profession. Searching for a college where you will receive your education and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult job no matter what major you have selected. As with any endeavor to receive a higher education, there are several factors to consider before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. But it is still important that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Apache Junction Arizona.