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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Chandler AZ

How to Pick the Right Interior Design College

Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design school near Chandler AZ, it's time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's essential that you obtain the right training to put your skills to work. And since several states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it's essential that you perform the proper research in order to evaluate and compare each college that you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate choice. But exactly where do you start? A number of potential students will start their research by searching for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are important issues when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into consideration as well. We will discuss those topics and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But before we do, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training options are available.

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Interior Design vs Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Chandler AZ

Many people mistake interior design for interior decoration. The principal difference between the two is the amount of training required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in a number of 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 spaces attractive as well as functional. On various projects they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Chandler AZ can specialize in:

  • Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any room of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers frequently concentrate predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.

There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, such as color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui principles, Chandler Arizona interior designers implement a wide range of skills that help bring about their final creations.
 

Interior Designer Degrees

There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to acquire the training needed to launch your new career in Chandler AZ. Your choice will no doubt be motivated by your career objectives as well as the money and time that you have to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in several states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum level of training needed to enter the field. They take approximately two years to finish and programs are offered at numerous Arizona community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can typically obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that provide more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative aspects of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced training in design after achieving a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialized majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are largely for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are typically completed in three to five years.

In order to work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be needed before an applicant can take the licensing examination.

Why Study to Become an Interior Designer?

Chandler 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 Design Colleges

When you have selected the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of analyzing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the campus needs to be within commuting distance from your Chandler AZ residence. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will decrease your choices as well. But selecting the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you should consider as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a few concerns that you may want to address with the colleges you are reviewing to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and ultimately choose the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's imperative to make sure that the interior designer program and college that you choose has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify 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 accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Chandler Arizona employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs 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 necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required also. Therefore in addition to providing an excellent education, the Chandler AZ school you choose should also provide 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 College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some help in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It could also signify that the school has a substantial network of Chandler AZ business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Chandler AZ colleges you are looking at and find out what kind of aid they offer. Many of interior designer schools offer financial aid to their new students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships while others provide support in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Chandler AZ colleges you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Chandler home, go to the school and monitor a couple of classes. While there talk with a few 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 Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior design college you choose provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Chandler AZ, verify that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.

Enroll in the Right Interior Designer Program near Chandler Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Chandler ArizonaChoosing the ideal interior designer program is an important initial step toward launching your career in this creative and fulfilling occupation. Finding a college where you will obtain your training and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a difficult task regardless of what field you have decided on. As with any endeavor to attain an advanced education, there are several factors to think about before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, make sure 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 research. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Chandler Arizona.