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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Queen Creek AZ

How to Choose the Best Interior Design Course

Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer college near Queen Creek AZ, it's time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's important that you obtain the proper training to put your talents to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it's very important that you perform the appropriate research in order to assess and compare each school that you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection. But exactly where do you start? A number of future students will start their research by searching for interior design courses near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are important factors when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into consideration as well. We will discuss those issues 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 alternatives are available.

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Interior Decoration and Interior Design

interior designed living room in Queen Creek AZ

Many people confuse interior decoration for interior design. The main difference between the two is the level of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. However, doing business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make living or work spaces functional as well as attractive. On some occasions they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are two broad areas that an interior designer in Queen Creek AZ can specialize in:

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

There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. They have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui principles, Queen Creek Arizona interior designers implement a wide range of skills that help bring about their final designs.
 

Interior Design Degrees

There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to obtain the training needed to start your new career in Queen Creek AZ. Your selection will no doubt be driven by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in some states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum amount of training needed to enter the profession. They take approximately 2 years to finish and programs are offered at many Arizona community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can normally qualify for 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 cover the creative and technical components of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced design training after acquiring a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer options in specialized majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate 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 generally completed in 3 to 5 years.

In order to work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.

What to Ask Interior Designer Schools

Queen Creek Arizona interior designer bathroomWhen you have selected the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the college needs to be within driving distance from your Queen Creek AZ home. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But choosing the cheapest college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you need to consider as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are looking at to obtain those answers as well as others to help you examine and subsequently pick the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's necessary to make sure that the interior design program and college that you choose has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just make sure 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 college and the quality of the training are excellent, it may also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Queen Creek Arizona employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.

Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from furnishing an excellent education, the Queen Creek AZ program you choose should also furnish the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be working.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some support in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It may also signify that the college has a substantial network of Queen Creek AZ business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Contact the financial aid departments for the Queen Creek AZ schools you are looking at and find out what kind of aid they provide. Many of interior design programs provide financial aid to their incoming students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.

How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Queen Creek AZ programs you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Queen Creek home, visit the school and sit in on a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior design school you select provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Queen Creek AZ, verify that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.

Choose the Best Interior Design Program near Queen Creek Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Queen Creek ArizonaSelecting the right interior designer school is a critical first step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding profession. Searching for a school where you will obtain your education and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting job no matter what major you have chosen. As with any undertaking to acquire a higher education, there are a number of things to think about before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. But it is still imperative that you complete 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 right ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Queen Creek Arizona.