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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Avondale AZ

How to Select the Best Interior Design Course

Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer school near Avondale AZ, it's time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's imperative that you receive the proper training to put your talents to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's essential that you carry out the appropriate research so that you can evaluate and compare each program that you are reviewing before you make your final decision. But exactly where do you begin? Some future students will begin their research by searching for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are important factors when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into account also. We will cover those topics and other crucial questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are interested in 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 choices are available.

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Interior Decoration and Interior Design

interior designed living room in Avondale AZ

Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design. The primary difference between the two is the level of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. However, working as an interior designer requires 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 work or residential spaces attractive as well as functional. On some occasions they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are two general areas that an interior designer in Avondale AZ can specialize in:

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

There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, such as color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui principles, Avondale Arizona interior designers employ a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
 

Interior Designer Degree Programs

There are four degree options offered in interior design to get the training necessary to begin your new career in Avondale AZ. Your selection will no doubt be driven by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, be sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in a number of states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum amount of training required to enter the profession. They take about 2 years to complete and programs are available at numerous Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that supply more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative components of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced design training after achieving the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer choices in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mostly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are typically completed in three to five years.

To work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be called for before a candidate can take the licensing examination.

Subjects to Ask Interior Design Colleges

Avondale Arizona interior designer bathroomAfter you have selected the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of reviewing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the school must be within driving distance from your Avondale AZ residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending an online school, 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 choosing the most affordable school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you should look at also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a list of questions that you may want to address with the schools you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others to help you assess and ultimately choose the right degree program.

Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's imperative to make sure that the interior design college and program that you choose has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive assessment of their programs and teachers. Just verify 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 training are outstanding, it may also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Avondale Arizona employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.

Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States calling for licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore aside from providing an excellent education, the Avondale AZ program you choose should also furnish the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill 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 earned your interior design certification, you will probably need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It could also signify that the college has a sizable network of Avondale AZ business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Avondale AZ colleges you are evaluating and find out what kind of aid they provide. A number of interior design schools provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships and others provide support in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Avondale AZ programs you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Avondale home, go to the college and sit in on a few classes. While there talk with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior designer school you select offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Avondale AZ, confirm that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.

Choose the Best Interior Designer School near Avondale Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Avondale ArizonaChoosing the ideal interior designer program is a critical initial step toward launching your career in this creative and rewarding profession. Searching for a college where you will obtain your education and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a difficult job no matter what major you have selected. As with any undertaking to acquire a higher education, there are many factors to think about before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. However it is still essential that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design programs so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Avondale Arizona.