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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Goodyear AZ

How to Pick the Right Interior Designer Degree Program

Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design school near Goodyear AZ, it's time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's imperative that you receive the right training to put your talents to work. And since some states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's vital that you carry out the appropriate research in order to analyze and compare each program that you are looking at before you make your final selection. But just where do you start? Many prospective students will start their research by looking for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are key variables when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation should be considered as well. We will address those issues and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at 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 choices are offered.

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Interior Decoration and Interior Design

interior designed living room in Goodyear AZ

Some people confuse interior design for interior decoration. The primary distinction between them is the level of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. However, conducting business as an interior designer requires formal training 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 living or work areas attractive as well as functional. On many occasions they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Goodyear AZ can specialize in:

  • Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any room of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers normally concentrate predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.

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

Interior Designer Degree Options

There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to receive the training needed to start your new career in Goodyear AZ. Your decision will no doubt be driven by your career objectives 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 certain to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in a number of states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum level of training needed to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to complete and programs are available at numerous Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative components of the business needed to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced design training after acquiring a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives in specialty majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are mainly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are normally completed in three to five years.

To work as a professional 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 required before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.

Online Interior Designer Degree Programs

Goodyear AZ student attending interior design school onlineFor those who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their Goodyear AZ homes, there are accredited online interior design degrees. Attending classes online can be a good solution for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when practical 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 additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Added 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 highly regarded accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the ideal alternative for you.

Questions to Ask Interior Design Schools

Now that you have decided on the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of assessing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the college needs to be within commuting distance from your Goodyear AZ residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will decrease your options also. But selecting the most affordable school or the one that is nearest to home are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you should consider as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a few questions that you may want to ask the programs you are looking at to obtain those answers as well as others to help you compare and subsequently pick the right degree program.

Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's essential to confirm that the interior design college and program that you choose has been accredited by either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just make sure 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 establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are excellent, it might also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Goodyear Arizona employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.

Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States requiring licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required as well. So aside from furnishing an exceptional education, the Goodyear AZ college you enroll in should also furnish the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some support in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It may also signify that the school has a significant network of Goodyear AZ business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Goodyear AZ schools you are reviewing and find out what type of support they provide. A number of interior design colleges offer financial aid to their new students. Some schools provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in securing federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper 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 may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Goodyear AZ schools you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Goodyear home, go to the campus and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior designer college you enroll in offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Goodyear AZ, confirm that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative as well. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Choose the Best Interior Design School near Goodyear Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Goodyear ArizonaPicking the right interior design school is a critical initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and gratifying occupation. Searching for a college where you will obtain your training and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a daunting task regardless of what field you have selected. As with any undertaking to attain a higher education, there are a number of things to think about before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the business. But it is still imperative that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design schools 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 Goodyear Arizona.