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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Avondale AZ

How to Pick the Best Interior Designer Degree Program

Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design degree program near Avondale AZ, it's time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's imperative that you receive the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's vital that you do the proper research so that you can evaluate and compare each school that you are considering prior to making your ultimate choice. But just where do you begin? Some prospective students will launch their research by looking for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are important variables when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation must be taken into account as well. We will address those issues and other crucial questions that you should be asking 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 class options are available.

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Interior Decoration and Interior Design

interior designed living room in Avondale AZ

Many people mistake interior design for interior decoration. The key difference between the two is the amount of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, doing 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 as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make living or work areas functional as well as attractive. On many occasions they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Avondale AZ may specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers normally focus 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 might concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.

There are numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, such as lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui principles, Avondale Arizona interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final designs.
 

Interior Designer Training Programs

There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to acquire the training necessary to begin your new profession in Avondale AZ. Your decision will undoubtedly be influenced by your career objectives in addition to the money and time that you have to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, be sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in a number of states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum amount of education required to enter the field. They take about 2 years to complete and programs are offered at a number of Arizona trade schools and junior 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 comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative aspects of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs supply advanced training in design after achieving a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer choices in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are mostly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are usually 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 colleges become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be called for before an applicant can take the licensing examination.

Subjects to Ask Interior Design Schools

Avondale Arizona interior designer bathroomAfter you have selected the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of assessing your school options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your Avondale AZ residence. Of course 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 cost of tuition will narrow down your options as well. But selecting the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your house are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you should look at as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a list of questions that you may want to ask the programs you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you assess and ultimately choose the right degree program.

Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's important to confirm that the interior design college and program that you select has earned accreditation from 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). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous evaluation 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Avondale Arizona employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.

Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would require 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 mandating licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required as well. So in addition to furnishing an exceptional education, the Avondale AZ school you choose should also provide the proper education to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.

What is the School'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 programs that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design profession and its students are sought after. It could also indicate that the school has a large network of Avondale AZ business connections where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial aid offices for the Avondale AZ schools you are looking at and find out what type of aid they offer. Many of interior design programs provide financial aid to their new students. Various schools offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Avondale AZ programs you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Avondale home, go to the school and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior design college you select offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Avondale AZ, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.

Enroll in the Best Interior Design School near Avondale Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Avondale ArizonaPicking the ideal interior designer program is a critical first step toward launching your career in this creative and fulfilling profession. Locating a school where you will obtain your training and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a challenging job regardless of what field you have chosen. As with any endeavor to acquire an advanced education, there are many points to consider before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, verify that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the profession. However it is still important that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Avondale Arizona.