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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Queen Creek AZ

How to Choose the Right Interior Designer Course

Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer school near Queen Creek AZ, it's time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's imperative that you obtain the proper training to put your talents to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's vital that you do the appropriate research in order to analyze and compare each college that you are reviewing before you make your final choice. But where do you begin? Some future students will kick off their research by looking for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are relevant factors when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation must be considered also. We will discuss those issues and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But before we do, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training choices are available.

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Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Queen Creek AZ

Many people mistake interior design for interior decoration. The principal difference between them is the level of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. However, doing business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in many 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 areas functional as well as attractive. On various projects they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are two general areas that an interior designer in Queen Creek AZ can specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any room 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 dealing with public or commercial areas, designers frequently concentrate primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary concern.

There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, such as lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Queen Creek Arizona interior designers implement a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
 

Interior Design Degree Programs

There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to obtain the training needed to start your new profession in Queen Creek AZ. Your choice will no doubt be influenced by your career objectives in addition to the money and time that you have to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in several states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum level of education needed to enter the field. They take approximately 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 employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that supply more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical aspects of the business required to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced training in design after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are primarily for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.

To work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be required before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.

Interior Designer Online Schools

Queen Creek AZ student attending interior design school onlineFor individuals who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their Queen Creek AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design degrees. Attending classes online can be an excellent alternative for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For a number of students online colleges may be the only alternative if no interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated also. Just make certain that the college you choose is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the right alternative for you.

Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Schools

After you have selected the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of reviewing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the college must be within commuting distance from your Queen Creek AZ home. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will decrease your options as well. But selecting the cheapest college or the one that is closest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you need to consider also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a list of questions that you may want to ask the programs you are considering to get those answers in addition to others to help you assess and ultimately choose the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's necessary to confirm that the interior designer college and program that you select has been accredited by 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 teachers and programs. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are outstanding, it might also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Queen Creek Arizona employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.

Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do mandate that interior designers become 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 mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. So in addition to providing an outstanding education, the Queen Creek AZ college you enroll in should also provide the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be working.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the schools 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 an excellent indication that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its students are sought after. It may also signify that the college has a substantial network of Queen Creek AZ business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Queen Creek AZ schools you are reviewing and find out what kind of aid they provide. A number of interior designer colleges provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide support in acquiring grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.

How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Queen Creek AZ schools you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Queen Creek home, visit the campus and sit in on a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior design school you choose offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Queen Creek 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 option as well. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.

Enroll in the Right Interior Design Program near Queen Creek Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Queen Creek ArizonaPicking the ideal interior designer program is an important first step toward starting your career in this artistic and gratifying occupation. Locating a school where you will receive your training and cultivate your skills 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 many things to think about before choosing a school, program, or course. At a minimum, verify that the design college and program are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. However it is still important that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design programs so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Queen Creek Arizona.