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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Avondale AZ

How to Choose the Best Interior Designer School

Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer school near Avondale 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 obtain the proper training to put your skills to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's very important that you carry out the proper research so that you can analyze and compare each program that you are looking at before you make your final decision. But exactly where do you start? Some future students will launch their research by searching for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are relevant variables when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into account as well. We will cover those topics and other crucial questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class options are offered.

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Interior Decoration and Interior Design

interior designed living room in Avondale AZ

Many people confuse interior design for interior decoration. The primary difference between the two is the amount of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or residential areas attractive as well as functional. On various projects they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are two broad 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, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Designing. When working on public or commercial areas, designers frequently focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.

There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui principles, Avondale Arizona interior designers employ a wide range of skills that contribute to their final designs.
 

Interior Designer Training Programs

There are 4 degree options available in interior design to get the training necessary to start your new career in Avondale AZ. Your choice will undoubtedly be motivated by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have budgeted 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 take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in some states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum amount of training needed to enter the field. They take roughly 2 years to finish and programs are offered at numerous Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that furnish 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 minimum degree needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs provide advanced design training after achieving a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer choices in specialized majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mainly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 years.

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

Why Become an Interior Designer?

Avondale 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.

Subjects to Ask Interior Design Schools

When you have chosen the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the task of assessing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the campus needs to be within driving distance from your Avondale AZ residence. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will decrease your choices also. But selecting the most affordable school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you should look at as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are considering to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you examine and subsequently select the right degree program.

Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's important to confirm that the interior designer college and program that you choose has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding evaluation 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it might also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Avondale Arizona employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.

Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States requiring licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required as well. So besides providing an outstanding education, the Avondale AZ school you select should also provide the proper training to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its students are sought after. It might also signify that the school has a substantial network of Avondale AZ business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Available? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Avondale AZ colleges you are looking at and find out what kind of assistance they offer. Many of interior designer programs offer financial assistance to their new students. Various schools provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in acquiring grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Large are the Classes? 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 Avondale AZ programs you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Avondale home, visit the campus and sit in on a few classes. While there talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior designer school you select provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Avondale AZ, make certain that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.

Enroll in the Best Interior Designer College near Avondale Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Avondale ArizonaSelecting the right interior design program is an important initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and gratifying occupation. Searching for a school where you will receive your training and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a challenging task no matter what major you have decided on. As with any undertaking to attain an advanced education, there are many factors to think about before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the field. However it is still imperative that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design programs so that you can make the right final selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Avondale Arizona.