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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Buckeye AZ

How to Choose the Right Interior Designer Course

Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer school near Buckeye AZ, it's time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's important that you receive the appropriate training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's crucial that you perform the proper research so that you can analyze and compare each program that you are reviewing before you make your final selection. But where do you begin? Many future students will launch their research by searching for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are important issues when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation need to be considered as well. We will discuss those issues and other crucial questions that you should be asking 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 training options are available.

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Interior Decoration and Interior Design

interior designed living room in Buckeye AZ

Many people confuse interior design for interior decoration. The principal distinction between the two is the amount of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. However, doing 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 living or work spaces attractive as well as functional. On various projects they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Buckeye AZ can specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any room of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers frequently focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might concentrate more on functionality over looks as the main consideration.

There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, such as lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui concepts, Buckeye Arizona interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final creations.
 

Interior Designer Degree Options

There are four degree options offered in interior design to get the training necessary to start your new career in Buckeye AZ. Your choice will no doubt be motivated by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in some states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum amount of training needed to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to complete and programs are offered at numerous Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can typically obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover 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 provide advanced training in design after acquiring the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer choices in specialty majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. 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 college or university level. The degree programs vary in length but are typically completed in three to five years.

In order 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 some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be called for before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.

Why Do You Want to Be an Interior Designer?

Buckeye 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 Design Programs

After you have decided on the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of reviewing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the campus needs to be within commuting distance from your Buckeye AZ home. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will decrease your choices as well. But picking the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to home are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you need to look at also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a few questions that you may want to ask the schools you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others to help you examine and subsequently pick the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's important to confirm that the interior designer school and program that you select has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected 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 assessment of their programs and instructors. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are outstanding, it may also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Buckeye Arizona employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.

Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, 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 college. And in some of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required also. Therefore besides furnishing an excellent education, the Buckeye AZ program you choose should also furnish the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be working.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will probably need some support in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It might also indicate that the college has a large network of Buckeye AZ business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial aid offices for the Buckeye AZ schools you are evaluating and ask what kind of aid they offer. Many of interior design colleges provide financial assistance to their new students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide support in obtaining grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.

How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Buckeye AZ colleges you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Buckeye home, visit the campus and sit in on a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior designer college you choose offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Buckeye AZ, confirm that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Choose the Right Interior Designer Program near Buckeye Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Buckeye ArizonaChoosing the right interior designer college is an important initial step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding occupation. Searching for a school where you will obtain your education and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting task regardless of what field you have decided on. As with any endeavor to attain an advanced education, there are several things to consider before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. However it is still imperative that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design programs so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Buckeye Arizona.