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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Chandler AZ

How to Pick the Best Interior Designer Course

Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer college near Chandler AZ, it's time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's essential that you obtain the appropriate training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it's vital that you perform the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each college that you are looking at prior to making your final selection. But just where do you begin? A number of future students will start their research by looking for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are relevant variables when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation must be considered as well. 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 first, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class options are available.

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Interior Decoration and Interior Design

interior designed living room in Chandler AZ

Many people mistake interior decoration for interior design. The main difference between them is the amount of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. However, working as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or residential areas attractive as well as functional. On some occasions they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are two broad categories that an interior designer in Chandler AZ may specialize in:

  • Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public areas, designers normally concentrate primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may focus more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.

There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, including color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui concepts, Chandler Arizona interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
 

Interior Design Degrees

There are 4 degree options available in interior design to receive the training needed to start your new career in Chandler AZ. Your decision will no doubt be driven by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, be sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in a number of states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum level of training required to enter the field. They take about two years to complete and programs are offered at a number of Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can usually obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical facets of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs provide advanced design training after acquiring the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer choices in specialty majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mostly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.

In order to work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be required before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.

Questions to Ask Interior Design Programs

Chandler Arizona interior designer bathroomWhen you have decided on the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of assessing your college options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the college must be within commuting distance from your Chandler AZ residence. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will limit your options also. But choosing the most affordable college or the one that is closest to home are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you need to consider as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are looking at to obtain those answers as well as others to help you compare and ultimately pick the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's important to verify that the interior designer school and program that you select has been accredited by 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 gone through an extensive assessment of their programs and teachers. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are exceptional, it might also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Chandler Arizona employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.

Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do mandate 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 college. And in several of those States calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required as well. So besides furnishing an excellent education, the Chandler AZ school you choose should also provide the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It might also signify that the college has a substantial network of Chandler AZ business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Chandler AZ colleges you are reviewing and ask what type of aid they provide. Many of interior designer programs offer financial assistance to their new students. Various schools provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Small are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Chandler AZ schools you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Chandler home, go to the college and monitor a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior designer college you select provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Chandler AZ, make certain that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.

Enroll in the Right Interior Designer College near Chandler Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Chandler ArizonaPicking the ideal interior design school is a critical first step toward launching your career in this artistic and fulfilling profession. Finding a college where you will receive your education and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a difficult task regardless of what field you have selected. As with any endeavor to receive an advanced education, there are a number of things to consider before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly esteemed in the business. But it is still essential that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design programs so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Chandler Arizona.