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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Glendale AZ

How to Select the Best Interior Designer Program

Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer school near Glendale AZ, it's time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's essential that you obtain the appropriate training to put your skills to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it's vital that you carry out the proper research in order to evaluate and compare each program that you are looking at before you make your ultimate choice. But exactly where do you start? A number of future students will launch their research by searching for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are key factors when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into account as well. We will address those issues and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are interested in 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.

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Interior Decoration and Interior Design

interior designed living room in Glendale AZ

Many people confuse interior decoration for interior design. The principal distinction between the two is the amount of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. However, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make living or work spaces functional as well as attractive. On various projects they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Glendale AZ may specialize in:

  • Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers frequently focus predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary concern.

There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must 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 wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Glendale Arizona interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final designs.
 

Interior Design Degree Programs

There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to obtain the training required to launch your new profession in Glendale AZ. Your selection will no doubt be driven by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make certain to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in a number of states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum level of education required to enter the field. They take roughly 2 years to finish and programs are offered at many Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that deliver more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative 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 position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs provide advanced design training after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are mainly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are normally completed in three to five years.

In order to work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be required before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.

Questions to Ask Interior Designer Programs

Glendale Arizona interior designer bathroomWhen you have chosen the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of reviewing your college options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the college must be within driving distance from your Glendale AZ home. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will limit your options as well. But selecting the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you need to look at as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a few questions that you may want to ask the schools you are considering to get those answers in addition to others to help you assess and ultimately choose the right degree program.

Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's imperative to confirm that the interior designer school and program that you enroll in has been accredited by either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding 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 agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are outstanding, it may also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Glendale Arizona employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.

Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do mandate 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 requiring licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to providing an outstanding education, the Glendale AZ school you select should also furnish the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy 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 earned your interior designer certification, you will probably want some support in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It could also indicate that the college has a substantial network of Glendale AZ business connections where they can place students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Glendale AZ schools you are looking at and ask what type of aid they provide. Many of interior designer programs provide financial assistance to their new students. Various schools offer partial scholarships and others provide help in obtaining grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.

How Big are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Glendale AZ programs you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Glendale home, go to the school and sit in on 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 approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior design school you select provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you will 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 you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.

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 starting your career in this creative and gratifying occupation. Locating a school where you will obtain your training and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a daunting job no matter what field you have chosen. As with any endeavor to attain an advanced education, there are several things to think about before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly esteemed in the business. But it is still imperative that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Glendale Arizona.