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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Chandler AZ

How to Choose the Best Interior Designer Course

Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer school near Chandler AZ, it's time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's imperative that you get the right training to put your skills to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's essential that you perform the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each program that you are considering before you make your ultimate decision. But where do you start? A number of prospective students will kick off their research by looking for interior design courses near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are relevant variables when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into account also. We will cover those issues and other vital questions that you should be asking 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 class choices are offered.

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Interior Design vs Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Chandler AZ

Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design. The main distinction between them is the amount of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, doing business as an interior designer requires formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or living spaces functional as well as attractive. On some projects they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Chandler AZ can specialize in:

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

There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, including color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui principles, Chandler Arizona interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
 

Interior Designer Training Programs

There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to receive the training needed to begin your new career in Chandler AZ. Your selection will undoubtedly be motivated by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in some states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum level of training needed to enter the field. They take about 2 years to finish and programs are available at numerous Arizona community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can typically obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical facets of the business required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced design training after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide 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 mostly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 years.

To work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be required before a candidate can take the licensing examination.

Interior Design Online Classes

Chandler AZ student attending interior design school onlineFor individuals who wish to study in the convenience of their Chandler AZ homes, there are accredited online interior design schools. Studying online can be an excellent option for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For a number of students online colleges may be the sole alternative if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Additional expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated also. Just make certain that the college 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 earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the dedication to obtain your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the perfect alternative for you.

Topics to Ask Interior Design Colleges

After you have chosen the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of reviewing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the school must be within commuting distance from your Chandler AZ home. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will limit your choices as well. But selecting the most affordable college or the one that is closest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you need to consider also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a list of questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are looking at to get those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and subsequently select the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's necessary to make sure that the interior design school and program that you choose has earned accreditation from either a national or regional 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 rigorous assessment of their instructors and programs. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are outstanding, it may also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Chandler Arizona employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.

Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States mandating licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore aside from providing an outstanding education, the Chandler AZ program you choose should also provide the proper instruction 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 attained your interior design certification, you will probably need some help in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its students are sought after. It could also signify that the college has a substantial network of Chandler AZ business connections where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial aid departments for the Chandler AZ schools you are reviewing and find out what kind of assistance they offer. A number of interior design schools offer financial aid to their new students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Small are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Chandler AZ programs you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Chandler home, visit the college and sit in on a few classes. While there talk with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior design program you select offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Chandler AZ, make sure that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Enroll in the Right Interior Design Program near Chandler Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Chandler ArizonaPicking the ideal interior designer college is a crucial first step toward starting your career in this artistic and gratifying occupation. Searching for a school where you will obtain your training and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a challenging job regardless of what major you have decided on. As with any endeavor to attain a higher education, there are several points to consider before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, make sure that the design college and program are both accredited and highly esteemed in the business. But it is still imperative that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design programs so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Chandler Arizona.