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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Apache Junction AZ

How to Enroll in the Right Interior Designer Degree Program

Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design school near Apache Junction AZ, it's time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's essential that you receive the right training to put your skills to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it's very important that you carry out the appropriate research so that you can evaluate and compare each school that you are looking at before you make your ultimate decision. But exactly where do you start? Some future students will kick off their research by looking for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are important issues when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation need to be taken into consideration as well. We will discuss those topics and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training choices are offered.

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Interior Decoration vs Interior Design

interior designed living room in Apache Junction AZ

Many people mistake interior design for interior decoration. The main difference between the two is the amount of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, conducting business as an interior designer requires formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or living spaces functional as well as attractive. On various occasions they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are two broad categories that an interior designer in Apache Junction AZ can specialize in:

  • Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently 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 specific room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public areas, designers normally focus predominantly 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 emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.

There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, such as lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. They have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Apache Junction Arizona interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
 

Interior Design Degree Options

There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to obtain the training needed to launch your new career in Apache Junction AZ. Your choice will no doubt be driven by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure to select 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 discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum amount of education required to enter the profession. They take about 2 years to finish and programs are available at numerous Arizona community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical facets of the business needed to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs supply advanced design training after acquiring the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer choices in specialized majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are largely for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.

In order to work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.

Topics to Ask Interior Design Schools

Apache Junction Arizona interior designer bathroomOnce you have selected the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of evaluating your school options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the school must be within driving distance from your Apache Junction AZ residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will narrow down your options also. But picking the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you need to look at also, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Below are a list of questions that you may want to address with the programs you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others to help you examine and subsequently select the right degree program.

Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's essential to confirm that the interior designer program and college that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just verify that both the degree program and the college 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 outstanding, it might also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Apache Junction Arizona employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.

Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from furnishing an excellent education, the Apache Junction AZ school you enroll in should also provide the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be working.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will no doubt need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its students are sought after. It might also signify that the school has a substantial network of Apache Junction AZ business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Apache Junction AZ colleges you are evaluating and find out what type of aid they offer. Many of interior designer schools offer financial assistance to their new students. Some schools provide partial scholarships while others provide help in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Apache Junction AZ programs you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Apache Junction home, go to the campus and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior designer college you select provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Apache Junction AZ, verify that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.

Enroll in the Best Interior Design School near Apache Junction Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Apache Junction ArizonaPicking the ideal interior designer college is an important initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and fulfilling profession. Finding a school where you will receive your training and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a difficult task regardless of what field you have selected. As with any endeavor to attain an advanced education, there are several factors to consider before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, confirm that the design college and program are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. However it is still important that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Apache Junction Arizona.