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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Glendale AZ

How to Choose the Best Interior Design Degree Program

Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer school near Glendale AZ, it's time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's imperative that you get the proper training to put your natural abilities 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 examination also. So it's essential that you perform the appropriate research in order to analyze and compare each school that you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection. But just where do you start? Some prospective students will start their research by searching for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are important issues when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation must be taken into consideration also. We will cover those issues and other important questions that you must ask 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 class options 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 work as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer requires formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make living or work areas functional as well as attractive. On various 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 typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any room of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Designing. When working on public or commercial areas, designers frequently focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might concentrate more on functionality over looks as the main consideration.

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

Interior Designer Degree Options

There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to acquire the training needed to launch your new profession in Glendale AZ. Your decision will no doubt be influenced by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in several states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum level of education needed to enter the profession. They take about two years to complete and programs are offered at many Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can typically obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that furnish more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative aspects of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs provide advanced design training after acquiring a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide alternatives in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mostly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are typically completed in three to five years.

In order to work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be required before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.

Interior Design Online Schools

Glendale AZ student attending interior design school onlineFor students who wish to study in the convenience of their Glendale AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design colleges. Studying online can be an excellent alternative for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For a number of students online colleges may be the only option if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Additional expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make certain that the program you pick is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the perfect option for you.

Subjects to Ask Interior Design Schools

After you have chosen the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of evaluating 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 willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will decrease your options as well. But selecting the cheapest college or the one that is closest to home are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you should consider as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a list of questions that you may want to ask the programs you are reviewing to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and ultimately pick the right degree program.

Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's essential to confirm that the interior design college and program that you select has earned accreditation from either a regional or national 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 gone through a demanding 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 agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Glendale Arizona employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.

Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of occupational experience may be required also. So aside from furnishing an excellent education, the Glendale AZ program you enroll in should also furnish the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will no doubt need some help 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 an excellent indication that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It may also indicate that the school has a substantial network of Glendale AZ business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Available? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Glendale AZ colleges you are evaluating and ask what type of aid they offer. Many of interior designer schools offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Some schools provide partial scholarships while others provide support in securing federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Glendale AZ programs you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Glendale home, go to the school and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior design program you enroll in offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night 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 also. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Enroll in the Best Interior Design School near Glendale Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Glendale ArizonaPicking the ideal interior designer program is a critical initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and rewarding profession. Finding a school where you will receive your education and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting task no matter what major you have chosen. As with any undertaking to receive an advanced education, there are many points to think about before enrolling in 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 balance of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Glendale Arizona.