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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Queen Creek AZ

How to Choose the Best Interior Designer College

Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer degree program 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 commercial or residential spaces, it's important that you obtain the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's essential that you perform the appropriate research in order to evaluate and compare each college that you are considering before you make your ultimate choice. But exactly where do you start? Some future students will launch their research by searching for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are key variables when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation should be considered also. We will address those topics and other crucial questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But before we do, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class choices are available.

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Interior Design and Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Queen Creek AZ

Many people confuse interior decoration for interior design. The main distinction between the two is the amount of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, doing business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or living areas attractive as well as functional. On many projects they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Queen Creek AZ may specialize in:

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

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

Interior Designer Degree Options

There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to acquire the training required to launch your new career in Queen Creek AZ. Your choice will undoubtedly be motivated by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required 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. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum amount of training required to enter the field. They take approximately two years to finish and programs are offered at a number of Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical components of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs provide advanced training in design after achieving the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer choices in specialized majors for such things 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 mostly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.

In order to work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be needed before an applicant can take the licensing exam.

Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Programs

Queen Creek Arizona interior designer bathroomAfter you have decided on the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of analyzing your college options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the school needs to be within driving distance from your Queen Creek AZ residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending a school online, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will decrease your options as well. But picking the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you should look at also, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a few questions that you may want to address with the programs you are considering to get those answers as well as others to help you examine and ultimately pick the right degree program.

Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the interior design program and school that you choose has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive 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 agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are outstanding, it might also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Queen Creek Arizona employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.

Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to providing an exceptional education, the Queen Creek AZ college you choose should also furnish the proper education to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy 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 earned your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some support in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession and its students are sought after. It might also signify that the college has a sizable network of Queen Creek AZ business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Queen Creek AZ colleges you are looking at and ask what kind of support they offer. Many of interior designer schools provide financial aid to their new students. Various schools provide partial scholarships while others provide help in securing grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Queen Creek AZ schools you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Queen Creek home, visit the school and monitor a couple of classes. While there speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior design college you choose provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Queen Creek AZ, make certain that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Choose the Right Interior Design College near Queen Creek Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Queen Creek ArizonaChoosing the right interior designer college is a critical initial step toward launching your career in this creative and gratifying occupation. Searching for a college where you will receive your training and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting task no matter what field you have selected. As with any undertaking to receive an advanced education, there are a number of things to think about before choosing a school, program, or course. At a minimum, check that the design college and program are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. But it is still essential that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Queen Creek Arizona.