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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Buckeye AZ

How to Select the Right Interior Design Program

Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer college near Buckeye AZ, it's time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's imperative that you receive the appropriate training to put your skills to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's very important that you do the appropriate research so that you can analyze and compare each college that you are considering prior to making your final decision. But exactly where do you begin? Some prospective students will begin their research by looking for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are key factors when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into account as well. We will cover those issues and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But before we do, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training options are offered.

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Interior Decoration vs Interior Design

interior designed living room in Buckeye AZ

Many people mistake interior decoration for interior design. The main difference between the two is the level of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer requires formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make living or work areas functional as well as attractive. On various occasions they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Buckeye AZ may specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently 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 bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial areas, designers normally focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over looks as the main concern.

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

Interior Designer Training Programs

There are four degree options offered in interior design to obtain the training required to begin your new profession in Buckeye AZ. Your selection will undoubtedly be driven by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain to pick 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 addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum amount of education needed to enter the field. They take approximately two years to complete and programs are offered at a number of Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can normally obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that furnish more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative components of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced training in design after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide alternatives in specialized majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are largely for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are usually completed in three to five years.

In order to work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be required before a candidate can take the licensing exam.

What to Ask Interior Designer Programs

Buckeye Arizona interior designer bathroomNow that you have decided on the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of reviewing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the college needs to be within commuting distance from your Buckeye AZ home. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will decrease your options also. But choosing the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you should look at as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a list of questions that you may want to address with the schools you are looking at to obtain those answers as well as others to help you assess and subsequently pick the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's imperative to confirm that the interior designer school and program that you select has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding assessment 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 organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it may also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Buckeye Arizona employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.

Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do mandate 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 school. And in some of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required as well. So in addition to furnishing an exceptional education, the Buckeye AZ college you enroll in should also provide the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be working.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some support in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its students are sought after. It might also signify that the college has a substantial network of Buckeye AZ business connections where they can place students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Available? Contact the financial aid offices for the Buckeye AZ colleges you are evaluating and ask what type of aid they provide. A number of interior designer programs provide financial assistance to their new students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide support in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Big are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Buckeye AZ colleges you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Buckeye home, visit the college and attend a few classes. While there speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior designer school you select provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Buckeye AZ, make sure that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Enroll in the Best Interior Design Program near Buckeye Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Buckeye ArizonaChoosing the ideal interior design college is a critical first step toward starting your career in this artistic and gratifying profession. Searching for a college where you will obtain your training and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a difficult job no matter what major you have decided on. As with any undertaking to attain an advanced education, there are many things to consider before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. But it is still important that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design schools so that you can make the right final selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Buckeye Arizona.