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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Buckeye AZ

How to Choose the Best Interior Design Program

Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design college near Buckeye AZ, it's time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's important that you get the appropriate training to put your skills to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's very important that you do the appropriate research in order to assess and compare each program that you are reviewing before you make your ultimate selection. But exactly where do you start? A number of prospective students will start their research by looking for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are important factors when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into account also. We will address those topics and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are interested in 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 alternatives are available.

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Interior Design and Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Buckeye AZ

Many people mistake interior design for interior decoration. The principal difference between the two is the amount of training 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 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 educated to make living or work spaces attractive as well as functional. On some occasions they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Buckeye AZ may specialize in:

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

There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, including color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui principles, Buckeye Arizona interior designers implement a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
 

Interior Designer Training Programs

There are 4 degree options available in interior design to acquire the training needed to launch your new career in Buckeye AZ. Your choice will no doubt be influenced by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, be sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in a number of states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum level of training needed to enter the field. They take approximately 2 years to complete and programs are available at many Arizona community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that furnish more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative facets 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 achieving a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer options in specialty majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are largely for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.

To work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be needed before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.

Interior Designer Online Schools

Buckeye AZ student attending interior design school onlineFor individuals who wish to study in the comfort of their Buckeye AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design programs. Studying online can be an excellent option for those students that are employed or have hectic 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 colleges may be the sole option if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Additional costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated also. Just be sure that the school you enroll in is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the discipline to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the right alternative for you.

Topics to Ask Interior Designer Programs

When you have chosen the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of analyzing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the college must be within driving distance from your Buckeye AZ home. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will limit your options also. But picking the most affordable college or the one that is closest to your house are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other things that you should look at as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a few concerns that you may want to address with the colleges you are considering to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and ultimately select the right degree program.

Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's important to verify that the interior designer school and program that you choose has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college 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 training are outstanding, it might also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Buckeye Arizona employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.

Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of occupational experience may be required also. So aside from furnishing an outstanding education, the Buckeye AZ school you choose should also furnish the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will no doubt need some help in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It may also signify that the school has a sizable network of Buckeye AZ business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial aid departments for the Buckeye AZ schools you are reviewing and ask what type of support they provide. Many of interior design colleges provide financial assistance to their new students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide help in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Small are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Buckeye AZ schools you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Buckeye home, visit the college and sit in on a couple of 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 credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior designer program you select provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Buckeye AZ, confirm that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.

Enroll in the Right Interior Designer College near Buckeye Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Buckeye ArizonaChoosing the right interior design school is a crucial first step toward starting your career in this artistic and fulfilling profession. Searching for a school where you will obtain your education and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult job regardless of what major you have decided on. As with any endeavor to attain a higher education, there are a number of factors to consider before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, check that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the business. But it is still imperative that you perform 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 colleges so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Buckeye Arizona.