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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Goodyear AZ

How to Select the Right Interior Design Course

Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design 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 important that you get the right training to put your talents to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it's very important that you do the appropriate research in order to assess and compare each college that you are reviewing prior to making your final choice. But exactly where do you start? A number of potential students will launch their research by looking for interior design courses near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are key variables when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation should be considered as well. We will discuss those topics and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But before we do, let's cover 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 principal distinction between them is the amount of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates formal training 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 living spaces functional as well as attractive. On some occasions they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Goodyear AZ may specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any room of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers frequently focus predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over looks as the main consideration.

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

Interior Design Degrees

There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to get the training necessary to launch your new career in Goodyear AZ. Your choice will no doubt be motivated by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in a number of states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum amount of education required to enter the field. They take roughly two years to finish and programs are available at a number of Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that supply more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative aspects of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs supply advanced design training after acquiring the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer options in specialty 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. Doctoral programs are primarily for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 years.

To work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be called for before an applicant can take the licensing examination.

What to Ask Interior Designer Colleges

Goodyear Arizona interior designer bathroomNow that you have decided on the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of reviewing your college options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your Goodyear AZ home. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will decrease your options also. But selecting the cheapest college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you need to look at also, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are looking at to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and subsequently choose the right degree program.

Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's essential to confirm that the interior design program and school that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through 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 recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify 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 available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Goodyear Arizona employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.

Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do mandate 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 college. And in several of those States requiring licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required as well. So besides furnishing an outstanding education, the Goodyear AZ program you enroll in should also furnish the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It might also signify that the school has a sizable network of Goodyear AZ business connections where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Available? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Goodyear AZ colleges you are reviewing and find out what kind of assistance they offer. Many of interior design colleges offer financial aid to their new students. Some schools offer partial scholarships while others provide help in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.

How Small are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Goodyear AZ programs you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Goodyear home, go to the college and sit in on a couple of classes. While there talk with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior designer college you choose provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Goodyear AZ, make sure that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative as well. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.

Enroll in the Right Interior Designer College near Goodyear Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Goodyear ArizonaPicking the ideal interior design college is a critical first step toward starting your career in this artistic and rewarding occupation. Searching for a college where you will obtain your education and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a challenging task no matter what field you have chosen. As with any endeavor to attain a higher education, there are a number of points to think about before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the field. But it is still important that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design schools so that you can make the right final selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Goodyear Arizona.