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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Chandler AZ

How to Select the Right Interior Designer Program

Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Chandler 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 important that you get the right training to put your talents to work. And since some states do require that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it's crucial that you do the appropriate research so that you can analyze and compare each school that you are reviewing before you make your final selection. But just where do you begin? A number of potential students will kick off their research by looking for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are relevant issues when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation must be considered as well. We will address those topics and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But first, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training choices are offered.

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Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design

interior designed living room in Chandler AZ

Many people confuse interior design for interior decoration. The main difference between the two is the level of education required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer requires formal training and in numerous 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 various occasions they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are two general areas that an interior designer in Chandler AZ may specialize in:

  • Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any room of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers frequently concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas 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 numerous areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as 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 integrating Feng shui concepts, Chandler Arizona interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
 

Interior Design Degrees

There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to receive the training necessary to start your new profession in Chandler AZ. Your selection will no doubt be influenced by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, make certain to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in some states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum amount of training needed to enter the profession. They take approximately 2 years to finish and programs are available at a number of Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that deliver 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 minimum credential needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced design training after achieving the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer choices in specialty majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mostly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.

To work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be called for before an applicant can take the licensing exam.

Topics to Ask Interior Design Schools

Chandler Arizona interior designer bathroomOnce you have decided on the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of evaluating your school options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the college has to be within commuting distance from your Chandler AZ home. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will narrow down your choices also. But selecting the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to home are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you need to look at also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a list of concerns 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 ultimately select the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the interior design school and program that you select 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). Colleges obtaining 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 organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Chandler Arizona employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.

Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required also. So aside from furnishing an excellent education, the Chandler AZ program you select should also furnish the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be working.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will probably need some support in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its students are sought after. It could also indicate that the college has a large network of Chandler AZ business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Chandler AZ schools you are looking at and ask what type of support they provide. A number of interior designer colleges offer financial aid to their new students. Some schools provide partial scholarships and others provide support in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its competitors 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 may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Chandler AZ colleges you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Chandler home, go to the campus 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 styles are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior designer school you enroll in provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Chandler AZ, confirm that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.

Enroll in the Right Interior Designer College near Chandler Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Chandler ArizonaSelecting the ideal interior designer program is a crucial initial step toward launching your career in this creative and rewarding profession. Locating a college where you will receive your training and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a difficult job no matter what field you have chosen. As with any endeavor to receive a higher education, there are a number of factors to consider before choosing a school, program, or course. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. However it is still important that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Chandler Arizona.