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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Avondale AZ

How to Select the Best Interior Design School

Once you have decided 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 spaces, it's essential that you receive the appropriate training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several 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 essential that you carry out the proper research in order to assess and compare each school that you are considering prior to making your final decision. But just where do you start? A number of future students will begin their research by looking for interior design courses near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are important issues when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation should be considered 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 alternatives are available.

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Interior Design vs Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Avondale AZ

Some people mistake interior decoration for interior design. The principal distinction between the two is the level of training required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or living spaces functional as well as attractive. On some 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 Designing. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any room of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial areas, designers frequently focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.

There are numerous areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. They need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce 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 Degree Programs

There are 4 degree options available in interior design to acquire the training required to launch your new profession in Avondale AZ. Your selection will undoubtedly be driven by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in a number of states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum amount of training needed to enter the field. They take about 2 years to complete and programs are offered at many Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical facets of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest credential 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 training in design after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialty majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are primarily for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The 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 colleges become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be required before a candidate can take the licensing exam.

Why Do You Want to Be 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.

Topics to Ask Interior Designer Schools

Now that you have chosen the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of analyzing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the college must be within driving distance from your Avondale AZ residence. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will limit your options as well. But selecting the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you should look at as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a list of questions that you may want to ask the schools you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and subsequently pick the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's important to verify that the interior designer program and college that you choose 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 undergone a rigorous evaluation 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 verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are outstanding, it may 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 hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.

Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate 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 requiring licensing, a minimum of 2 years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore besides providing an outstanding education, the Avondale AZ program you enroll in should also furnish the appropriate training 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 Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It might also indicate that the college has a sizable network of Avondale AZ business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial aid departments for the Avondale AZ schools you are reviewing and ask what type of assistance they offer. Many of interior designer schools provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain schools offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Small are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Avondale AZ schools you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Avondale home, go to the college and monitor a few classes. While there talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior design school you choose offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially important 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 attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative as well. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.

Choose 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 creative and fulfilling occupation. Locating a college where you will obtain your education and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a daunting job regardless of what field you have chosen. As with any endeavor to attain an advanced education, there are many factors to consider before choosing a course, program 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 complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design programs so that you can make the right final selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Avondale Arizona.