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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Goodyear AZ

How to Select the Right Interior Designer College

Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design degree program near Goodyear AZ, it's time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's imperative that you receive the right training to put your talents to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it's vital that you do the proper research so that you can analyze and compare each college that you are reviewing before you make your ultimate selection. But where do you start? A number of future students will launch their research by looking for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are important variables when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation must be taken into account as well. We will address those issues and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But before we do, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class alternatives are available.

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Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design

interior designed living room in Goodyear AZ

Many people mistake interior design for interior decoration. The primary difference between the two is the amount of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. However, doing 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 work or living spaces functional as well as attractive. On many projects they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad areas that an interior designer in Goodyear AZ may 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, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers frequently focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.

There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. They must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui principles, Goodyear Arizona interior designers employ a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
 

Interior Design Degree Programs

There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to receive the training needed to launch your new career 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 opt to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in several states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum amount of education needed to enter the profession. They take approximately 2 years to finish and programs are available at many Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that provide more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical components of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced design training after achieving the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer choices in specialized 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 primarily for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.

To work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required before a candidate can take the licensing exam.

Why Train to Become an Interior Designer?

Goodyear 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.

What to Ask Interior Design Programs

After you have decided on the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the task of assessing your college options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the college must be within driving distance from your Goodyear AZ home. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will narrow down your choices also. But choosing the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to home are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you should consider also, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a few questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and subsequently pick the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's imperative to verify that the interior design school and program that you choose has been accredited by either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous assessment of their instructors and programs. Just make sure that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are outstanding, it might also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Goodyear Arizona employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.

Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States mandating licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to providing an exceptional education, the Goodyear AZ program you enroll in should also provide the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with 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 earned your interior designer certification, you will probably want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It could also signify that the school has a large network of Goodyear AZ business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Goodyear AZ colleges you are evaluating and find out what type of aid they offer. A number of interior design colleges offer financial aid to their new students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide support in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.

How Big are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Goodyear AZ colleges you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Goodyear home, visit the college and attend a couple of classes. While there talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior design college you enroll in provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Goodyear AZ, make certain that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check 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 Designer College near Goodyear Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Goodyear ArizonaChoosing the ideal interior designer college is an important first step toward launching your career in this artistic and rewarding occupation. Searching for a school where you will receive your training and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a difficult job regardless of what major you have selected. As with any endeavor to acquire an advanced education, there are a number of factors to think about before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the business. However it is still imperative that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design schools so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Goodyear Arizona.