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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Glendale AZ

How to Pick the Right Interior Designer School

Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design 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 spaces, it's important that you receive the right training to put your skills to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers become licensed, depending on 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 college that you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection. But exactly where do you start? Some prospective students will launch their research by searching for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are important variables when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation need to be taken into consideration also. We will address those topics and other vital questions that you must ask 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 class options are available.

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Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design

interior designed living room in Glendale AZ

Many people confuse interior decoration for interior design. The principal distinction between them is the amount of training required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. However, conducting 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 work or living areas attractive as well as functional. On various occasions they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are two general areas that an interior designer in Glendale AZ may specialize in:

  • Residential Designing. Interior Designers often 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 particular room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers normally focus predominantly 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 may concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.

There are numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, such as color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui concepts, Glendale Arizona interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final designs.
 

Interior Designer Degree Options

There are four degree options available in interior design to acquire the training needed to start your new career in Glendale AZ. Your choice will undoubtedly be motivated by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, make sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in some states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum amount of training needed to enter the field. They take roughly two years to finish and programs are offered at many Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that provide more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical facets of the business required to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs supply advanced training in design after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialty 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 degrees are largely for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are typically completed in three to five years.

To work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be called for before a candidate can take the licensing examination.

Why Study to Become 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.

Questions to Ask Interior Design Schools

Now that you have selected the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of reviewing your school options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the campus needs to be within commuting distance from your Glendale AZ home. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will decrease your choices also. But selecting the most affordable college or the one that is closest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you need to look at as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Below are a few concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and ultimately select the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's important to make sure that the interior design program and school that you choose 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 earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding assessment 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 organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are outstanding, it might also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Glendale Arizona employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.

Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do mandate 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 school. And in some of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required as well. So aside from furnishing an excellent education, the Glendale AZ school you select should also provide the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some support in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It may also signify that the school has a large network of Glendale AZ business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Glendale AZ schools you are looking at and ask what kind of assistance they provide. Many of interior designer programs provide financial aid to their incoming students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships while others provide help in securing federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Small are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Glendale AZ colleges you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Glendale home, go to the campus and attend a couple of classes. While there speak with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior design program you enroll in provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Glendale AZ, make sure that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.

Enroll in the Best Interior Designer College near Glendale Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Glendale ArizonaPicking the right interior design school is a critical first step toward starting your career in this creative and gratifying occupation. Locating a school where you will receive your education and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a challenging task regardless of what field you have decided on. As with any endeavor to acquire a higher education, there are several points to think about before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the business. However it is still imperative that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design programs so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Glendale Arizona.