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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Avondale AZ

How to Pick the Best Interior Design Course

Once you have decided 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 imperative that you obtain the right training to put your talents to work. And since some states do require 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 so that you can analyze and compare each program that you are considering before you make your final decision. But where do you start? Many prospective students will launch their research by looking for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are key factors when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into account as well. We will address those issues and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are reviewing 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 choices are available.

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Interior Design and Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Avondale AZ

Some people mistake interior design for interior decoration. The key difference between the two is the level of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, working as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or living spaces functional as well as attractive. On many occasions they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are two general categories 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 basically any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial areas, designers often focus predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For instance, 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 consideration.

There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, including color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui concepts, Avondale Arizona interior designers implement a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
 

Interior Designer Degree Options

There are four degree options available in interior design to receive the training required to start your new career in Avondale AZ. Your decision will no doubt be influenced by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in several states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum level of education needed to enter the field. They take approximately two years to finish and programs are available at a number of Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical aspects of the business required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs supply advanced training in design after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialized majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are largely for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are typically 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, 2 or more years of field experience may be required before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.

Interior Design Online Classes

Avondale AZ student attending interior design school onlineFor students who wish to study in the convenience of their Avondale AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design degrees. Studying online can be a good solution for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For a number of students online schools may be the only option if no interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Additional costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated also. Just make sure that the school you choose is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the perfect alternative for you.

What to Ask Interior Design Colleges

Once you have chosen the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of analyzing your college options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the college must be within commuting distance from your Avondale AZ residence. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will limit your choices also. But picking the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other things that you need to look at as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a few concerns that you may want to address with the colleges you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others to help you compare and subsequently choose the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's necessary to verify that the interior designer program and college that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive evaluation of their programs and instructors. 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 school and the quality of the training are excellent, it may also help when requesting financial aid 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 jobs.

Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do mandate 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 calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. So besides furnishing an exceptional education, the Avondale AZ college you choose should also provide the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be working.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If so, ask 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 students are in demand. It could also indicate that the college has a substantial 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 assistance departments for the Avondale AZ schools you are reviewing and ask what kind of support they provide. Many of interior design programs provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in securing grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited school 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 offer more generous financial assistance.

How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited 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, go to the college and sit in on a few classes. While there speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior designer school you select provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Avondale AZ, confirm that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the procedure 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 ArizonaPicking the ideal interior designer program is a crucial first step toward launching your career in this artistic and fulfilling occupation. Locating a school where you will receive your education and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a challenging task no matter what major you have selected. As with any undertaking to acquire a higher education, there are many things to consider before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the profession. However it is still essential that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design programs so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Avondale Arizona.