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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Glendale AZ

How to Select the Right Interior Design Course

Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer college near Glendale AZ, it's time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's important that you get the proper training to put your skills to work. And since several states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's very important that you do the proper research so that you can analyze and compare each college that you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision. But where do you begin? A number of prospective students will start their research by searching for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are relevant factors when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into account also. We will discuss those issues and other important questions that you should be asking 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 training alternatives are offered.

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Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design

interior designed living room in Glendale AZ

Often people confuse interior decoration for interior design. The main distinction between the two is the level of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. However, doing business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make living or work spaces attractive as well as functional. On some projects they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are two broad areas that an interior designer in Glendale AZ can specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers often focus predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.

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

Interior Designer Degree Programs

There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to acquire the training required to begin your new profession in Glendale AZ. Your choice will undoubtedly be influenced by your career objectives as well as the money and time that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide 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 mandated in several states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum amount of training required to enter the field. They take approximately two years to finish and programs are offered at numerous Arizona community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that furnish more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative aspects of the business required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced training in design after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives in specialized majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mainly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are usually completed in three to five years.

To work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be needed before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.

Questions to Ask Interior Designer Programs

Glendale Arizona interior designer bathroomAfter you have decided on the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of analyzing your college options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the campus has to be within driving distance from your Glendale AZ residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will narrow down your options also. But choosing the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to home are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you need to consider also, including 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 obtain those answers as well as others to help you compare and subsequently pick the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's important to make sure that the interior design college and program that you select has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. 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 gone through an extensive assessment of their teachers and programs. Just verify 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 college and the quality of the education are outstanding, it may also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Glendale Arizona employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.

Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. So besides furnishing an outstanding education, the Glendale AZ program you enroll in should also provide the suitable 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? After you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will no doubt need some support in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design profession and its students are sought after. It might also indicate that the college has a substantial network of Glendale AZ business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Glendale AZ colleges you are looking at and find out what type of assistance they offer. A number of interior design programs offer financial assistance to their new students. Various schools provide partial scholarships while others provide help in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.

How Big are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Glendale AZ colleges you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Glendale home, visit the school and monitor a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak 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 Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior designer college you enroll in offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Glendale AZ, make sure that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Enroll in the Right Interior Design College near Glendale Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Glendale ArizonaPicking the right interior design college is an important initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and gratifying profession. Locating a college where you will obtain your training and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a challenging job regardless of what field you have chosen. As with any endeavor to acquire an advanced education, there are many things to consider before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, verify that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the business. But it is still important that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design schools so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Glendale Arizona.