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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Goodyear AZ

How to Select the Best Interior Designer College

Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer school 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 interiors, it's essential that you obtain the right training to put your talents to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it's crucial that you carry out the proper research so that you can evaluate and compare each program that you are considering prior to making your ultimate choice. But just where do you begin? Some potential students will start their research by looking for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are important variables when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into consideration also. We will address those topics and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But first, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class choices are offered.

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Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Goodyear AZ

Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design. The principal distinction between them is the level of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, working as an interior designer requires formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make living or work spaces attractive as well as functional. On some projects they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are two broad 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 basically any room of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Designing. When working on public or commercial areas, designers frequently focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the main consideration.

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

Interior Designer Degree Programs

There are four degree options available in interior design to receive the training required to launch your new career in Goodyear AZ. Your choice will no doubt be influenced by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in a number of states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation 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 education needed to enter the field. They take approximately two years to complete and programs are available at numerous Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that furnish more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative components of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced training in design after acquiring a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mostly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are typically completed in three to five years.

In order to work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be required before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.

What to Ask Interior Designer Programs

Goodyear Arizona interior designer bathroomOnce you have chosen the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of reviewing your school options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your Goodyear AZ home. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will limit your options as well. But selecting the least expensive school or the one that is closest to home are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you should look at as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a list of questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are looking at to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and ultimately select the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's important to make sure that the interior designer school and program that you choose has been accredited by either a national or regional 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 gone through a rigorous assessment of their programs and teachers. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are outstanding, it may also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. 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 previously mentioned, a number of States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States requiring licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore besides furnishing an exceptional education, the Goodyear AZ college you choose should also furnish the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be working.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some help in finding your first position. Ask the schools 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 school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It may also indicate that the school has a sizable network of Goodyear AZ business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Goodyear AZ schools you are evaluating and find out what kind of support they provide. A number of interior designer programs provide financial aid to their incoming students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide support in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Small 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. Ask the Goodyear AZ programs you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Goodyear home, go to the school and sit in on a few classes. While there talk with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior designer college you select offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly 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 certain that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an option as well. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.

Choose the Right Interior Designer Program near Goodyear Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Goodyear ArizonaPicking the right interior design school is a crucial initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and gratifying occupation. Finding a college where you will receive your training and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a daunting task regardless of what major you have decided on. As with any endeavor to receive a higher education, there are many points to think about before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. But it is still imperative that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design programs so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Goodyear Arizona.