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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Goodyear AZ

How to Enroll in the Right Interior Design School

Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Goodyear AZ, it's time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's essential that you get the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on 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 so that you can analyze and compare each school that you are considering before you make your ultimate decision. But just where do you start? Many future students will begin their research by searching for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are relevant variables when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation must be considered as well. We will address those topics and other crucial questions that you should be asking 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 class choices are available.

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Interior Design vs Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Goodyear AZ

Some people mistake interior decoration for interior design. The key difference between the two is the amount of education required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, doing 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 living areas attractive as well as functional. On some projects they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are two broad areas that an interior designer in Goodyear AZ can specialize in:

  • Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any room of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Designing. When working on public or commercial areas, designers often concentrate predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal 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 banks and hospitals might concentrate more on functionality over looks as the main concern.

There are numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui principles, Goodyear Arizona interior designers implement a wide range of skills that help bring about their final creations.
 

Interior Design Degree Options

There are four degree options available in interior design to receive the training required to launch your new profession in Goodyear AZ. Your selection will undoubtedly be motivated 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 choose to enroll in, make certain to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in a number of states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum amount of training needed to enter the field. They take roughly two years to complete and programs are available at a number of Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that supply more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical components of the business 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 2 year programs provide advanced design training after achieving the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer choices in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are mainly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary in length but are typically completed in three to five years.

To work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be called for before an applicant can take the licensing exam.

Questions to Ask Interior Designer Programs

Goodyear Arizona interior designer bathroomNow that you have selected the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of evaluating your school options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the college has to be within driving distance from your Goodyear AZ residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will decrease your options also. But choosing the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you should consider also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a list of questions that you may want to address with the programs you are considering to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you compare and ultimately select the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's necessary to verify that the interior designer program and school that you enroll in has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone 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 establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it may also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Goodyear Arizona employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.

Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some 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 college. And in several of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required as well. So in addition to providing an excellent education, the Goodyear AZ school you choose should also furnish the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will no doubt 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, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its graduates are in demand. It may also signify that the college has a significant network of Goodyear AZ business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial aid offices for the Goodyear AZ colleges you are reviewing and ask what type of assistance they provide. Many of interior design programs offer financial aid to their incoming students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide assistance in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Goodyear AZ colleges you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Goodyear home, go to the campus and attend a few classes. While there talk 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? Last, make certain that the interior designer program you select offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Goodyear AZ, make certain that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend 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 Best Interior Design School near Goodyear Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Goodyear ArizonaChoosing the ideal interior designer college is a critical first step toward starting your career in this creative and fulfilling profession. Searching for a school where you will receive your training and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a daunting job no matter what major you have decided on. As with any undertaking to attain a higher education, there are many points to consider before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the business. But it is still important that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the right final selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Goodyear Arizona.