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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Avondale AZ

How to Choose the Best Interior Designer School

Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Avondale AZ, it's time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's imperative that you obtain the appropriate training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it's vital that you carry out the appropriate research in order to evaluate and compare each school that you are looking at prior to making your ultimate choice. But just where do you begin? A number of potential students will launch their research by looking for interior design courses 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. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into consideration as well. We will discuss 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 class choices are available.

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Interior Decoration and Interior Design

interior designed living room in Avondale AZ

Many people confuse interior decoration for interior design. The key difference between the two is the amount of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. However, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or living spaces functional as well as attractive. On some projects they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Avondale AZ can specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any room of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial areas, designers often concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas 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 several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, for example lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. They must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui principles, Avondale Arizona interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that help bring about their final creations.
 

Interior Designer Degree Options

There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to get the training necessary to begin your new profession in Avondale AZ. Your decision will no doubt be driven by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, make sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in several states. More will be discussed 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 needed to enter the field. They take about two years to complete and programs are available at many Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can usually 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 technical and creative facets of the business needed to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs supply advanced training in design after acquiring a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide alternatives in specialty majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mostly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are generally completed in 3 to 5 years.

To work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be called for before a candidate can take the licensing exam.

Interior Design Online Degree Programs

Avondale AZ student attending interior design school onlineFor anyone wishing to study in the convenience of their Avondale AZ homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Attending classes online can be a good option for those students that are working 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 a number of students online programs may be the sole option if no interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Additional costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make sure that the school you choose is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, 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 online or distance learning. If you have the dedication to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the perfect alternative for you.

Subjects to Ask Interior Design Schools

Once you have chosen the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the task of evaluating your school options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your Avondale AZ residence. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. 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 ideal ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you should consider also, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others to help you examine and subsequently pick the right degree program.

Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's necessary to verify that the interior design college and program that you select has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment of their teachers and programs. 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 exceptional, it might also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Avondale Arizona employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.

Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do require that interior designers get 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 program. And in several of those States calling for licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required as well. So aside from furnishing an exceptional education, the Avondale AZ school you enroll in should also furnish the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It may also signify that the school has a sizable network of Avondale AZ business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial aid offices for the Avondale AZ colleges you are looking at and find out what type of support they offer. A number of interior designer colleges provide financial aid to their new students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide support in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Big are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Avondale AZ schools you are considering what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Avondale home, visit the college and attend a couple of 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 Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior designer college you select provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Avondale AZ, make certain that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Enroll in the Right Interior Designer Program near Avondale Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Avondale ArizonaChoosing the right interior designer college is a crucial initial step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding profession. Locating a school where you will receive your training and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting task no matter what field you have decided on. As with any undertaking to receive an advanced education, there are several factors to think about before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the field. But it is still imperative that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design programs so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Avondale Arizona.