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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Glendale AZ

How to Enroll in the Best Interior Design College

Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer school near Glendale 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 interiors, it's important that you get the proper training to put your skills to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it's crucial that you do the proper research in order to evaluate and compare each program that you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection. But just where do you begin? A number of potential students will kick off their research by searching for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are relevant factors when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to be considered also. We will discuss those topics and other important 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 class alternatives are offered.

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Interior Decoration and Interior Design

interior designed living room in Glendale AZ

Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design. The main difference between them 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 spaces. However, working as an interior designer requires a formal education and in many 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 spaces attractive as well as functional. On various projects they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Glendale AZ may 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, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers often focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may focus more on functionality over looks as the main consideration.

There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, for example lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. They have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui principles, Glendale Arizona interior designers employ a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
 

Interior Designer Training Programs

There are four degree options offered in interior design to obtain the training needed to start your new profession in Glendale AZ. Your choice will undoubtedly be motivated by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, make sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in several states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum amount of education needed to enter the profession. They take approximately 2 years to finish and programs are available at numerous Arizona community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can commonly 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 business required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential 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 achieving a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives 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. Doctorate programs are mainly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are generally completed in 3 to 5 years.

In order to work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be required before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.

Online Interior Design Colleges

Glendale AZ student attending interior design school onlineFor students who wish to study in the convenience of their Glendale AZ homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Studying online can be a good option for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For some students online programs may be the only option if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Additional costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated also. Just make sure that the school you pick is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. 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 right option for you.

What to Ask Interior Design Programs

When you have chosen the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of evaluating your school options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the school must be within driving distance from your Glendale AZ residence. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will decrease your options also. But selecting the least expensive college or the one that is closest to home are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other things that you need to look at also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a few concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others to help you assess and subsequently choose the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's important to make sure that the interior design program and school that you choose has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding assessment 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 verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are outstanding, it may also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Glendale Arizona employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.

Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to providing an outstanding education, the Glendale AZ program you choose should also provide the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy 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 attained your interior design certification, you will probably want some support in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, ask 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 profession and its students are in demand. It may also indicate that the school has a sizable network of Glendale AZ business connections where they can place students to secure internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Glendale AZ schools you are looking at and ask what kind of assistance they provide. A number of interior designer colleges provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Some schools offer partial scholarships while others provide assistance in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Glendale AZ colleges you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Glendale home, go to the college and attend 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 credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior design college you choose offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Glendale AZ, verify that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.

Enroll in the Best Interior Designer Program near Glendale Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Glendale ArizonaChoosing the ideal interior design school is a critical first step toward starting your career in this creative and fulfilling occupation. Searching for a school where you will receive your education and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a difficult job regardless of what field you have selected. As with any endeavor to attain a higher education, there are many points to consider before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. However it is still important that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design programs so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Glendale Arizona.