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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Buckeye AZ

How to Choose the Right Interior Design School

Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer degree program 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 spaces, it's essential that you obtain the appropriate training to put your talents to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it's vital that you carry out the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each college that you are considering before you make your final selection. But exactly where do you begin? Some potential students will start their research by looking for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are key factors when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation must be taken into account also. We will discuss those topics and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are looking at 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 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 primary difference between the two is the amount of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or residential areas functional as well as attractive. On many projects they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are two 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 area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers frequently concentrate predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary concern.

There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, such as lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Buckeye Arizona interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
 

Interior Design Degree Programs

There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to get the training required to launch your new profession in Buckeye AZ. Your selection will no doubt be driven by your career objectives in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in some states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum amount of education required to enter the field. They take roughly two years to complete and programs are offered at many Arizona community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more comprehensive 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 college graduate in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced training in design after acquiring the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialty majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate 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 usually completed in three to five years.

To work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be needed before a candidate can take the licensing exam.

Interior Design Online Colleges

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 solution for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For many students online schools may be the sole option 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 decreased or eliminated also. Just be sure that the program 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 online or distance education. If you have the dedication to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the ideal option for you.

Questions to Ask Interior Design Schools

Once you have selected the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of assessing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the campus needs to be within driving distance from your Buckeye AZ home. Obviously if you have decided on attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will narrow down your options also. But selecting the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other things 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 ask the programs you are considering to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and ultimately choose the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's essential to verify that the interior designer program and school that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive assessment of their programs and teachers. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when obtaining financial assistance 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 jobs.

Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do require that interior designers become 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 program. And in some of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required also. So aside from providing an outstanding education, the Buckeye AZ program you choose should also furnish the proper education to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will probably need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It could also indicate that the college has a sizable network of Buckeye AZ business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Buckeye AZ colleges you are looking at and find out what type of assistance they offer. Many of interior design colleges provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Various schools provide partial scholarships and others provide help in obtaining grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.

How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Buckeye AZ colleges you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Buckeye home, go to the campus and monitor a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and find out 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 Fit your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior design program you select offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evening 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, check that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.

Enroll in the Best Interior Designer College near Buckeye Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Buckeye ArizonaPicking the ideal interior design school is a critical first step toward starting your career in this artistic and rewarding profession. Searching for a college where you will receive your training and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a challenging job no matter what field you have chosen. As with any undertaking to acquire an advanced education, there are several factors to think about before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the field. But it is still essential that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Buckeye Arizona.