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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Glendale AZ

How to Select the Right Interior Designer College

Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design degree program near Glendale AZ, it's time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's important that you obtain the appropriate training to put your talents to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's very important that you do the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each school that you are considering before you make your ultimate choice. But just where do you begin? A number of future students will begin their research by looking for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are relevant issues when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation must be considered also. We will address those issues and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, 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 vs Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Glendale AZ

Many people confuse interior design for interior decoration. The primary difference between them is the amount of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer requires formal training and in many 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 attractive as well as functional. On many projects they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Glendale AZ may specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any room of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers frequently focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.

There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, including color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui principles, Glendale Arizona interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
 

Interior Design Degree Programs

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

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum amount of training needed to enter the profession. They take about 2 years to finish and programs are available at numerous Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative facets of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs provide advanced design training after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer options in specialty majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mostly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary in length but are generally completed in 3 to 5 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 field experience may be called for before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.

Interior Design Online Colleges

Glendale AZ student attending interior design school onlineFor anyone wishing to study in the convenience of their Glendale AZ homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Studying online can be an excellent solution for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For some students online schools may be the only alternative if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Additional expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the program you choose is accredited by a respected accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the ideal option for you.

Subjects to Ask Interior Design Programs

When you have selected the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of analyzing your school options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the college needs to be within commuting distance from your Glendale AZ residence. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will limit your options as well. But choosing the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you need to consider also, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a list of questions that you may want to address with the schools you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others to help you examine and ultimately choose the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's necessary to make sure that the interior designer program and school that you choose has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding assessment of their programs and teachers. Just verify 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 education are outstanding, it might also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Glendale Arizona employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.

Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of 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 college. And in some of those States calling for licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to providing an excellent education, the Glendale AZ program you select should also provide the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be working.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It may also indicate that the school has a substantial network of Glendale AZ business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial aid departments for the Glendale AZ schools you are reviewing and find out what type of aid they provide. A number of interior design programs provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.

How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Glendale AZ schools you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Glendale home, visit the college and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior designer college you enroll in offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Glendale AZ, make certain that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, confirm that is an option also. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.

Enroll in the Best Interior Design College near Glendale Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Glendale ArizonaPicking the ideal interior design college is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and rewarding occupation. Finding a college where you will receive your education and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a difficult task no matter what major you have decided on. As with any endeavor to acquire a higher education, there are many factors to think about before choosing a school, program, or course. At a minimum, make sure that the design college and program are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. But it is still essential that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Glendale Arizona.