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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Avondale AZ

How to Select the Best Interior Design Degree Program

Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer college near Avondale AZ, it's time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's important that you obtain the appropriate training to put your skills to work. And since some states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's essential that you do the appropriate research in order to assess and compare each school that you are reviewing before you make your ultimate choice. But exactly where do you start? A number of future students will launch their research by searching for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are important issues when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into account also. We will address those issues and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But before we do, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are offered.

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Interior Decoration vs Interior Design

interior designed living room in Avondale AZ

Many people mistake interior decoration for interior design. The main distinction between them is the amount of education required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they have 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 a number of 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 areas attractive as well as functional. On many projects they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Avondale AZ may specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any room of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers normally concentrate primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.

There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui principles, Avondale Arizona interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final creations.
 

Interior Designer Degrees

There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to acquire the training necessary to begin your new career in Avondale AZ. Your decision will undoubtedly be driven by your career objectives as well as the money and time that you have to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in a number of states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum level of training required to enter the field. They take about two years to finish and programs are offered at many Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can typically obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that supply more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative facets of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced design training after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide alternatives in specialty majors for such things 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. Doctorate degrees are mostly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are generally completed in 3 to 5 years.

To work as a professional and adopt 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 field experience may be required before a candidate can take the licensing exam.

What to Ask Interior Design Colleges

Avondale Arizona interior designer bathroomWhen you have selected the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of assessing your school options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the college must be within commuting distance from your Avondale AZ home. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will narrow down your options as well. But selecting 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 need to look at as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are looking at to get those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and ultimately pick the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Designer School 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 industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive assessment of their programs and instructors. Just verify that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are excellent, it may also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Avondale Arizona employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.

Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States requiring licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from furnishing an excellent education, the Avondale AZ program you enroll in should also furnish the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be working.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will probably need some support in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It may also signify that the college has a substantial network of Avondale AZ business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Avondale AZ colleges you are evaluating and ask what type of aid they offer. A number of interior designer schools provide financial aid to their new students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program 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 personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Avondale AZ colleges you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Avondale home, go to the college and sit in on a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak 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 Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior designer program you select offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Avondale AZ, verify that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an option as well. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Enroll in the Best Interior Designer School near Avondale Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Avondale ArizonaSelecting the right interior design college is a critical initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and rewarding profession. Finding a school where you will obtain your education and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a challenging job regardless of what major you have selected. As with any undertaking to acquire an advanced education, there are several points 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 field. However it is still essential that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design programs so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Avondale Arizona.