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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 design school near Glendale AZ, it's time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's essential that you obtain the proper training to put your skills to work. And since several states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it's vital that you perform the proper research so that you can assess and compare each program that you are considering before you make your ultimate choice. But exactly where do you start? Many prospective students will kick off their research by looking for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are important factors when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into account as well. 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 first, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are offered.

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Interior Decoration and Interior Design

interior designed living room in Glendale AZ

Some people mistake interior design for interior decoration. The principal difference between the two is the amount of education required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in a number of 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 some occasions they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Glendale AZ may specialize in:

  • Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers normally concentrate primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over looks as the main concern.

There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, for example lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui principles, Glendale Arizona interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that contribute to their final creations.
 

Interior Design Degree Programs

There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to get the training required to begin your new career in Glendale AZ. Your choice will no doubt be influenced by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in several states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum level of education required to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to finish and programs are offered at many Arizona community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can usually obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that deliver more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative components of the business required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs provide advanced training in design after acquiring a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide 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 their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mainly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 years.

In order to work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be called for before a candidate can take the licensing examination.

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.

Topics to Ask Interior Design Colleges

Now that you have chosen the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of assessing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the school has to be within driving distance from your Glendale AZ residence. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will decrease your options also. But choosing the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other things that you should consider as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a list of questions that you may want to address with the programs you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and ultimately select the right degree program.

Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's essential to confirm that the interior designer school and program that you choose has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. 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 a rigorous assessment of their programs and instructors. 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 confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are exceptional, it may also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Glendale Arizona employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.

Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do require that interior designers become 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 requiring licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required also. Therefore besides furnishing an excellent education, the Glendale AZ program you choose should also provide the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be working.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If yes, 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 esteem within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It might also indicate that the college has a large network of Glendale AZ business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Glendale AZ colleges you are reviewing and ask what kind of aid they provide. Many of interior design schools provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain schools offer partial scholarships while others provide help in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Glendale AZ colleges you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Glendale home, visit the campus and monitor a couple of 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 experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior design school you select offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Glendale AZ, verify that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.

Enroll in the Best Interior Design Program near Glendale Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Glendale ArizonaChoosing the ideal interior designer program is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and fulfilling profession. Locating a college where you will obtain your education and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult job regardless of what major you have decided on. As with any undertaking to receive an advanced education, there are several factors to consider before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the business. However it is still imperative that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with quality training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Glendale Arizona.