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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Peoria AZ

How to Enroll in the Best Interior Design School

Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Peoria AZ, it's time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's essential that you receive the right training to put your talents to work. And since several states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's very important that you carry out the proper research in order to assess and compare each program that you are reviewing before you make your ultimate selection. But just where do you begin? A number of future students will launch their research by searching for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are relevant variables when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into consideration as well. We will discuss those topics and other important questions that you should be asking 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 training options are offered.

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Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design

interior designed living room in Peoria AZ

Many people confuse interior decoration for interior design. The primary difference between the two is the level of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or living areas attractive as well as functional. On many occasions they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are two broad areas that an interior designer in Peoria AZ can specialize in:

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

There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, including lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui principles, Peoria Arizona interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final creations.
 

Interior Design Degree Options

There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to get the training required to launch your new profession in Peoria AZ. Your choice will undoubtedly be influenced by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, make certain to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in several states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide 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 vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can normally obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that deliver more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical aspects of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs provide advanced design training after achieving a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer choices in specialty majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are primarily for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are normally completed in three to five years.

In order to work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be called for before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.

What to Ask Interior Design Programs

Peoria Arizona interior designer bathroomAfter you have decided on the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of reviewing your school options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the college must be within commuting distance from your Peoria AZ residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will decrease your choices also. But choosing the cheapest school or the one that is closest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other things that you need to consider also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are considering to get those answers as well as others to help you examine and subsequently pick the right degree program.

Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's necessary to confirm that the interior design program and college that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are exceptional, it might also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Peoria Arizona employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.

Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate 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 calling for licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore besides furnishing an excellent education, the Peoria AZ school you select should also provide the proper training 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 School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will probably need some support in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It may also indicate that the college has a substantial network of Peoria AZ business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Peoria AZ colleges you are reviewing and ask what kind of assistance they provide. A number of interior design colleges provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide assistance in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Big are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Peoria AZ programs you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Peoria home, visit the college and monitor a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior designer college you select offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Peoria AZ, make certain that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.

Enroll in the Best Interior Designer College near Peoria Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Peoria ArizonaSelecting the right interior designer college is a crucial first step toward starting your career in this creative and fulfilling profession. Finding a school where you will obtain your education and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a difficult job no matter what major you have selected. As with any undertaking to acquire an advanced education, there are several points to consider before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, confirm that the design college and program are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. However it is still imperative that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design programs so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Peoria Arizona.