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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Buckeye AZ

How to Select the Best Interior Designer Program

Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer school near Buckeye 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 spaces, it's imperative that you get the appropriate training to put your skills to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it's essential that you do the appropriate research so that you can evaluate and compare each program that you are reviewing before you make your final selection. But where do you start? A number of potential students will begin their research by looking for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are relevant factors when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation should be considered as well. We will discuss those topics and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training choices are available.

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Interior Decoration and Interior Design

interior designed living room in Buckeye AZ

Often people confuse interior design for interior decoration. The primary distinction between the two is the level of training required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, working as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or residential areas attractive as well as functional. On some occasions they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad categories 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 basically any area of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers frequently focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For example, 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 looks as the primary consideration.

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

Interior Design Degree Programs

There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to receive the training necessary to start your new profession in Buckeye AZ. Your decision will undoubtedly be driven by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, be sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in several states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum level of training needed to enter the profession. They take approximately 2 years to finish and programs are offered at many Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can usually obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that provide more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical components of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs provide advanced design training after achieving a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives in specialized majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mostly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.

In order to work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be called for before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.

Why Become 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 Designer Programs

When you have chosen the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the school has to be within commuting distance from your Buckeye AZ home. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will limit your choices as well. But choosing the cheapest school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you need to consider also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a few questions that you may want to address with the programs you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and subsequently choose the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the interior designer college and program that you select has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just confirm that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are excellent, it might also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Buckeye Arizona employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.

Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. So besides furnishing an exceptional education, the Buckeye AZ program you choose should also furnish the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill 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 obtained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some support in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It could also signify that the school has a large network of Buckeye AZ business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Available? Contact the financial aid offices for the Buckeye AZ colleges you are looking at and find out what kind of assistance they offer. A number of interior design programs offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Various schools provide partial scholarships and others provide help in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Buckeye AZ schools you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Buckeye home, visit the school and attend 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 credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior design school you enroll in offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Buckeye AZ, make certain that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.

Enroll in the Best Interior Design School near Buckeye Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Buckeye ArizonaPicking the ideal interior designer college is a critical first step toward launching your career in this creative and rewarding profession. Finding a school where you will obtain your training and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a daunting task no matter what major you have decided on. As with any undertaking to receive a higher education, there are a number of points to think about before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. But it is still important that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design programs so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Buckeye Arizona.