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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Apache Junction AZ

How to Choose the Best Interior Design Course

Now that you have made a decision 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 talent for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's imperative that you obtain the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it's crucial that you perform the proper research so that you can assess and compare each program that you are looking at before you make your ultimate selection. But exactly where do you start? A number of prospective students will launch their research by looking for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are important variables when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation should be considered also. We will cover those issues and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training choices are offered.

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Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Apache Junction AZ

Many people confuse interior design for interior decoration. The key distinction between them is the level of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or residential spaces attractive as well as functional. On many occasions they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general 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 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 commercial or public spaces, designers frequently concentrate predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.

There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, such as color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui concepts, Apache Junction Arizona interior designers implement a wide range of skills that contribute to their final creations.
 

Interior Designer Degree Programs

There are 4 degree options available in interior design to acquire the training required to launch your new career in Apache Junction AZ. Your selection will no doubt be driven by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in some states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum amount of education required to enter the profession. They take roughly 2 years to finish and programs are offered at many Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that supply more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical aspects of the business required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced design training after attaining 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. Doctorate programs are mainly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.

To work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be required before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.

Interior Design Online Degree Programs

Apache Junction AZ student attending interior design school onlineFor students who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Apache Junction AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design colleges. Attending classes online can be an excellent solution for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For some students online programs may be the sole alternative if no interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Additional expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated also. Just be sure that the program you pick is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the right option for you.

Questions to Ask Interior Design Programs

After you have decided on the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of reviewing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the college must be within driving distance from your Apache Junction AZ home. Obviously if you have decided on attending a school online, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will limit your choices as well. But selecting the most affordable school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you should look at also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a few questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you compare and ultimately select the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's imperative to make sure that the interior design college and program that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just make sure 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 establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are outstanding, it might also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Apache Junction Arizona employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.

Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do require 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 some of those States calling for licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required as well. So besides furnishing an outstanding education, the Apache Junction AZ school you choose should also provide the proper education to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some help in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It could also signify that the college has a substantial network of Apache Junction AZ business connections where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Apache Junction AZ schools you are evaluating and find out what type of assistance they provide. A number of interior designer colleges offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide help in securing federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Apache Junction AZ colleges you are reviewing what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Apache Junction home, visit the school and monitor a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior design college you enroll in offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Apache Junction AZ, confirm that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Choose the Best Interior Design Program near Apache Junction Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Apache Junction ArizonaPicking the right interior design college is a critical initial step toward launching your career in this creative and fulfilling profession. Finding a college where you will obtain your training and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a difficult task no matter what field you have chosen. As with any endeavor to attain a higher education, there are a number of things to consider before choosing a school, program, or course. At a minimum, confirm that the design college and program are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. But it is still important that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design programs so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Apache Junction Arizona.