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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Buckeye AZ

How to Choose the Right Interior Designer College

Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer college near Buckeye AZ, it's time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's important that you receive the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it's very important that you do the proper research so that you can assess and compare each college that you are looking at before you make your final choice. But just where do you begin? Many potential students will begin their research by looking for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are important factors when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation need to be taken into consideration also. We will cover those topics and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class choices are offered.

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Interior Design and Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Buckeye AZ

Often people mistake interior design for interior decoration. The key distinction between the two is the level of training required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. However, doing business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or residential areas attractive as well as functional. On many occasions they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are two general areas that an interior designer in Buckeye AZ may specialize in:

  • Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any room of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers normally focus primarily 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 focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the main concern.

There are numerous areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui concepts, Buckeye Arizona interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that help bring about their final creations.
 

Interior Design Degrees

There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to get the training required to begin your new career in Buckeye AZ. Your choice will no doubt be motivated by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in a number of states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum level of education required to enter the profession. They take approximately two years to complete and programs are available at many Arizona community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that supply more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative facets of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced design training after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer options in specialized 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. Doctorate degrees are largely for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 years.

To work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be needed before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.

Online Interior Designer Schools

Buckeye AZ student attending interior design school onlineFor anyone wishing to study in the comfort of their Buckeye AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design degrees. Studying online can be a great alternative for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For some students online schools may be the sole alternative if no interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Additional costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced 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 schools may also obtain 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 structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the right option for you.

What to Ask Interior Designer Schools

Once you have decided on the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of assessing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the campus needs to be within driving distance from your Buckeye AZ residence. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will decrease your options as well. But picking the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you need to consider also, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and ultimately choose the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's imperative to confirm that the interior design program and college that you choose has been accredited by either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when securing 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 schools for entry level positions.

Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do require 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 college. And in several of those States calling for licensing, at least 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. Therefore besides providing an exceptional education, the Buckeye AZ school you choose should also furnish the proper training to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be working.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some help in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It may also indicate that the school has a significant network of Buckeye AZ business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Buckeye AZ colleges you are evaluating and find out what kind of assistance they offer. Many of interior designer programs provide financial aid to their incoming students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide help in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Buckeye AZ colleges you are reviewing what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Buckeye home, go to the college and attend a couple of classes. While there speak with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior designer school you select offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Buckeye AZ, make sure that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Enroll in the Best Interior Design Program near Buckeye Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Buckeye ArizonaPicking the ideal interior designer school is an important first step toward launching your career in this creative and fulfilling occupation. Finding a college where you will receive your training and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a daunting job regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any undertaking to receive a higher education, there are many things to consider before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the field. But it is still imperative that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the right final selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Buckeye Arizona.