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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Glendale AZ

How to Enroll in the Right Interior Designer College

Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer school near Glendale AZ, it's time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's imperative that you get the right training to put your skills to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's very important that you perform the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each program that you are reviewing before you make your ultimate selection. But exactly where do you begin? A number of future students will kick off their research by looking for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are important issues when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into consideration as well. We will address those issues and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But before we do, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training choices are available.

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Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Glendale AZ

Often people confuse interior design for interior decoration. The main distinction between them is the amount of education required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. However, working as an interior designer requires a formal education and in numerous 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 areas functional as well as attractive. On many occasions they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are two broad categories 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 basically any room of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers normally concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.

There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to 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 picking carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui concepts, Glendale Arizona interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final creations.
 

Interior Designer Training Programs

There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to receive the training required to launch your new profession in Glendale AZ. Your selection will undoubtedly be influenced by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is required 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. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum amount of training required to enter the profession. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are offered at numerous Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that supply more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative facets of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs supply 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 advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are largely for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.

In order to work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.

Why Do You Want to Be an Interior Designer?

Glendale 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 Programs

When you have selected the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of analyzing your college options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the college needs to be within commuting distance from your Glendale AZ residence. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will narrow down your options also. But picking the most affordable college or the one that is closest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you need to consider as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a few questions that you may want to ask the schools you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and subsequently choose the right degree program.

Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's imperative to confirm that the interior design program and college that you select has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive evaluation of their programs and teachers. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm 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 accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Glendale Arizona employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.

Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, 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) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States requiring licensing, a minimum of 2 years of occupational experience may be required also. So besides furnishing an excellent education, the Glendale AZ school you select 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 employed.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some support in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It could also signify that the college has a large network of Glendale AZ business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial aid offices for the Glendale AZ colleges you are evaluating and find out what kind of assistance they provide. Many of interior design colleges provide financial aid to their new students. Various schools provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in securing federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Glendale AZ programs you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Glendale home, visit the campus and monitor a few classes. While there speak with some students and ask 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? Last, verify that the interior design program you select offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Glendale AZ, confirm that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.

Choose the Right Interior Designer School near Glendale Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Glendale ArizonaChoosing the right interior designer college is a crucial initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and gratifying profession. Searching for a college where you will obtain your training and develop your skills in a particular 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 a number of points to consider before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. However it is still imperative that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with quality training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Glendale Arizona.