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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Peoria AZ

How to Pick the Right Interior Designer Program

Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer school near Peoria 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 spaces, it's important that you receive the right training to put your talents to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it's vital that you perform the appropriate research so that you can analyze and compare each school that you are looking at prior to making your final choice. But exactly where do you start? Many potential students will launch their research by looking for interior design courses near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are relevant factors when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into consideration as well. We will address those issues and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are researching 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 options are available.

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Interior Design vs Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Peoria AZ

Some people mistake interior decoration for interior design. The primary distinction between them is the amount of education required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. However, doing business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or residential spaces attractive as well as functional. On some occasions they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are two broad areas that an interior designer in Peoria AZ may specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers frequently concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the primary concern.

There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui principles, Peoria Arizona interior designers implement a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
 

Interior Design Training Programs

There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to receive the training required to begin your new profession in Peoria AZ. Your decision will undoubtedly be driven by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in several states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum level of education required to enter the profession. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are available at a number of Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly qualify for 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 components of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced training in design after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide alternatives in specialized majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are largely for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 years.

In order to work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be required before a candidate can take the licensing examination.

Why Study to Become an Interior Designer?

Peoria 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 Schools

Now that you have chosen the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of analyzing your school options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the college needs to be within driving distance from your Peoria AZ residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will limit your options also. But picking the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your house are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you should look at also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a few questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are reviewing to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and ultimately select the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's imperative to verify that the interior designer college and program that you choose has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Peoria Arizona employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.

Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to providing an excellent education, the Peoria AZ school you choose should also provide the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy 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 obtained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some support in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It may also signify that the school has a substantial network of Peoria AZ business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial aid offices for the Peoria AZ schools you are evaluating and find out what kind of aid they offer. Many of interior designer programs offer financial aid to their incoming students. Certain schools offer partial scholarships and others provide support in securing grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.

How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Peoria AZ schools you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Peoria home, go to the campus and sit in on a few classes. While there speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior design school you select provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Peoria AZ, confirm that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.

Enroll in the Best Interior Designer Program near Peoria Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Peoria ArizonaSelecting the right interior designer program is a crucial first step toward starting your career in this creative and fulfilling profession. Finding a college where you will obtain your training and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a challenging job regardless of what field you have selected. As with any endeavor to receive an advanced education, there are many factors to think about before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, verify that the program and design college are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. However it is still important 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 review and compare interior design programs so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Peoria Arizona.