Home >> Arizona >> Phoenix >> Interior Design Courses Online


Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Phoenix AZ

How to Enroll in the Best Interior Design Course

Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design degree program near Phoenix AZ, it's time to begin 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 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 preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it's essential that you carry out the appropriate research in order to analyze and compare each program that you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision. But exactly where do you begin? A number of prospective students will kick off their research by searching for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are relevant variables when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into consideration also. We will cover those topics and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are offered.

Start Your Interior Design Career By Requesting Free Info on Local Schools Below

Interior Design vs Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Phoenix AZ

Many people mistake interior decoration for interior design. The primary distinction between them is the amount of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. However, working as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or living spaces functional as well as attractive. On many projects they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Phoenix AZ may specialize in:

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

There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. They have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui principles, Phoenix Arizona interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
 

Interior Design Degree Options

There are four degree options available in interior design to receive the training needed to launch your new profession in Phoenix AZ. Your choice will undoubtedly be motivated by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have budgeted to commit 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 qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in some states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short explanations 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 finish and programs are available at numerous Arizona community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can typically obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that provide more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical aspects of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced design training after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives in specialized majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mostly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.

To work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be called for before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.

Why Do You Want to Be an Interior Designer?

Phoenix 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.

Subjects to Ask Interior Design Programs

Now that you have chosen the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of assessing your college options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the campus needs to be within driving distance from your Phoenix AZ home. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will limit your options also. But picking the cheapest college or the one that is closest to home are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you should consider as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the program. Below are a few concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are looking at to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you assess and ultimately choose the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's essential to confirm that the interior designer program and college that you select 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). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are excellent, it may also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Phoenix Arizona employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.

Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do require 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 school. And in several of those States mandating licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. So aside from furnishing an outstanding education, the Phoenix AZ program you select should also provide the proper training to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will no doubt need some support in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its graduates are in demand. It may also signify that the college has a large network of Phoenix AZ business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Phoenix AZ schools you are looking at and ask what kind of assistance they offer. A number of interior design schools offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in obtaining grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.

How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Phoenix AZ schools you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Phoenix home, go to the college and monitor a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior designer school you choose provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Phoenix AZ, verify that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option also. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.

Choose the Right Interior Design College near Phoenix Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Phoenix ArizonaPicking the right interior design program is a crucial first step toward launching your career in this artistic and rewarding occupation. Locating a school where you will obtain your education and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a daunting job regardless of what field you have chosen. As with any endeavor to attain an advanced education, there are several points to think about before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, make sure that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the profession. However it is still imperative that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Phoenix Arizona.