Home >> Arizona >> El Mirage >> Interior Design Courses Online


Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near El Mirage AZ

How to Find the Best Interior Design School

Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer degree program near El Mirage AZ, it's time to begin the process of picking 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 talents to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's essential that you carry out the proper research so that you can analyze and compare each college that you are looking at before you make your final decision. But where do you start? A number of prospective students will launch their research by searching for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are important factors when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be considered also. We will cover those issues and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class choices are available.

Start Your Interior Design Career By Requesting Free Info on Local Schools Below

Interior Decoration and Interior Design

interior designed living room in El Mirage AZ

Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design. The principal 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 talent for decorating interior areas. However, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make living or work spaces attractive as well as functional. On some occasions they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad areas that an interior designer in El Mirage AZ may specialize in:

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

There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, including lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They have to 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, El Mirage Arizona interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
 

Interior Design Training Programs

There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to receive the training needed to start your new profession in El Mirage AZ. Your decision will undoubtedly be influenced by your career objectives in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in some states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum amount of education required to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to complete and programs are available at a number of Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can typically obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that furnish more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative facets of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs provide advanced training in design after achieving the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialty 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 programs are primarily 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 3 to 5 years.

In order 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 several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be called for before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.

Why Train to Become an Interior Designer?

El Mirage 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.

Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Schools

Now that you have selected the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of evaluating your college options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the school needs to be within driving distance from your El Mirage AZ home. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will narrow down your options as well. But picking the most affordable college or the one that is closest to home are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you should look at also, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Following are a few questions that you may want to address with the schools you are considering to get those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and subsequently pick the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's necessary to make sure that the interior design program and college that you select has been accredited by either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are outstanding, it might also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many El Mirage Arizona employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.

Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several 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 program. And in some of those States calling for licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. So aside from providing an excellent education, the El Mirage AZ school you choose should also furnish the proper training to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be working.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will probably need some support in finding your first job. Ask the colleges 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 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 school has a substantial network of El Mirage AZ business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial aid offices for the El Mirage AZ colleges you are reviewing and find out what kind of support they offer. A number of interior design colleges provide financial aid to their new students. Certain schools offer partial scholarships while others provide help in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Big are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the El Mirage AZ programs you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your El Mirage home, go to the school and sit in on a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior designer program you choose offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near El Mirage AZ, confirm that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.

Choose the Right Interior Design Program near El Mirage Arizona

interior designed kitchen in El Mirage ArizonaChoosing the right interior designer program is an important initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and fulfilling occupation. Locating a college where you will receive your education and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a daunting task regardless of what major you have decided on. As with any undertaking to acquire a higher education, there are a number of things to think about before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. But it is still important that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design programs so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in El Mirage Arizona.