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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Glendale AZ

How to Select the Best Interior Designer School

Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design degree program near Glendale AZ, it's time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's essential that you obtain the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's crucial that you do the proper research in order to analyze and compare each program that you are considering before you make your ultimate selection. But exactly where do you start? Some potential students will start their research by searching for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are relevant issues when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into consideration also. We will address those topics and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training options are offered.

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Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Glendale AZ

Some people mistake interior design for interior decoration. The key distinction between them is the level of education required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer requires formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or residential areas attractive as well as functional. On many occasions they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Glendale AZ can specialize in:

  • Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently 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 may specialize in designing one specific room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers normally focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over looks as the main consideration.

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

Interior Design Degrees

There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to get the training required to begin your new profession in Glendale AZ. Your decision will undoubtedly be motivated by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, be sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in some states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum amount of education required to enter the profession. They take approximately two years to finish and programs are offered at many Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can usually obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that provide more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative aspects of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced design training after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer options in specialty majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are mostly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are usually completed in three to five years.

In order to work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be required before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.

What to Ask Interior Design Programs

Glendale Arizona interior designer bathroomNow that you have chosen the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of reviewing your college options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the campus has to be within driving distance from your Glendale AZ home. Naturally if you have decided on attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will narrow down your options also. But selecting the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your house are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you should look at as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a few concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are considering to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and subsequently choose the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's necessary to make sure that the interior design college and program that you select 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 receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive assessment of their programs and teachers. Just make sure 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 might also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Glendale Arizona employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.

Does the College 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 college. And in several of those States mandating licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required as well. So in addition to furnishing an excellent education, the Glendale AZ college you enroll in should also provide the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some help in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design trade and its students are sought after. It may also indicate that the school has a large network of Glendale AZ business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial aid departments for the Glendale AZ colleges you are reviewing and ask what kind of aid they offer. A number of interior designer colleges offer financial aid to their new students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide assistance in acquiring federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Glendale AZ colleges you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Glendale home, visit the campus and attend a couple of 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? Finally, make certain that the interior designer college you enroll in provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Glendale AZ, make certain that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Enroll in the Best Interior Designer Program near Glendale Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Glendale ArizonaChoosing the ideal interior design program is a crucial first step toward launching your career in this creative and gratifying occupation. Finding a college where you will receive your education and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a challenging task regardless of what major you have decided on. As with any undertaking to receive a higher education, there are many things to think about before choosing a school, program, or course. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. However it is still essential that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design programs so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Glendale Arizona.