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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Goodyear AZ

How to Find the Best Interior Designer School

Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer college near Goodyear AZ, it's time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's imperative that you receive the appropriate training to put your talents to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it's crucial that you perform the proper research so that you can assess and compare each program that you are reviewing prior to making your final choice. But just where do you start? Some future students will start their research by looking for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are relevant issues when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into account also. We will address those topics and other crucial questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class alternatives are available.

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Interior Design and Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Goodyear AZ

Some people confuse interior design for interior decoration. The primary distinction between the two is the amount of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. However, working as an interior designer requires a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or residential areas attractive as well as functional. On many occasions they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Goodyear AZ can specialize in:

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

There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must 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 picking carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui principles, Goodyear Arizona interior designers employ a wide range of skills that help bring about their final creations.
 

Interior Designer Degrees

There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to get the training needed to begin your new career in Goodyear AZ. Your selection will no doubt be driven by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, make sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in several states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum level of training needed to enter the field. They take approximately two years to complete and programs are available at many Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that supply more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative aspects of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs supply advanced design training after achieving a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are largely 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 3 to 5 years.

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

Why 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.

Questions to Ask Interior Designer Colleges

After you have decided on the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of evaluating your college options. Location will be an important issue, 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 willing to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will decrease your choices as well. But selecting the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you need to consider also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are considering to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and subsequently choose the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's imperative to confirm that the interior designer program and school that you enroll in has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just confirm 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 school and the quality of the education are outstanding, it might also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Goodyear Arizona employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.

Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do require that interior designers get 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 calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore in addition to providing an outstanding education, the Goodyear AZ school you choose should also provide the proper training to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be working.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some support in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It might also signify that the college has a sizable network of Goodyear AZ business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial aid departments for the Goodyear AZ schools you are looking at and ask what kind of assistance they provide. Many of interior design programs offer financial aid to their new students. Some schools provide partial scholarships while others provide support in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Big are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Goodyear AZ programs you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Goodyear home, go to the campus and attend a few classes. While there speak with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior designer school you select provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night 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 option also. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.

Enroll in the Right Interior Design College near Goodyear Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Goodyear ArizonaPicking the right interior designer college is a critical first step toward starting your career in this creative and gratifying occupation. Finding a college where you will receive your education and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a challenging task regardless of what field you have decided on. As with any endeavor to receive an advanced education, there are a number of points to consider before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, verify that the design college and program are both accredited and highly esteemed in the business. But it is still imperative that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design schools so that you can make the right final selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Goodyear Arizona.