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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Queen Creek AZ

How to Pick the Best Interior Designer School

Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near Queen Creek AZ, it's time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's essential that you receive the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's essential that you perform the proper research so that you can evaluate and compare each college that you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection. But where do you start? Some prospective students will begin their research by looking for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are important factors when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into account as well. We will address those topics and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at 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 alternatives are available.

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Interior Design and Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Queen Creek AZ

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

  • Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Design. When dealing with public or commercial areas, designers normally concentrate predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may 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, for example color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. They must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui concepts, Queen Creek Arizona interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that help bring about their final designs.
 

Interior Designer Training Programs

There are 4 degree options available in interior design to get the training required to start your new career in Queen Creek AZ. Your decision will undoubtedly be influenced by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, make certain to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in several states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum level of training needed to enter the profession. They take about 2 years to finish and programs are available at a number of Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that supply more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical components of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest credential 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 acquiring the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mostly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are generally completed in 3 to 5 years.

To work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be called for before a candidate can take the licensing exam.

Interior Design Online Schools

Queen Creek AZ student attending interior design school onlineFor anyone wishing to attend classes in the comfort of their Queen Creek AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design colleges. Attending classes online can be an excellent alternative for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For a number of students online programs may be the only option if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Added expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated also. Just be sure that the program you select is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the discipline to obtain your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the right option for you.

Topics to Ask Interior Designer Programs

After you have chosen the interior design 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 school has to be within commuting distance from your Queen Creek AZ residence. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will decrease your choices also. But choosing the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to home are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you need to look at also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Below are a few concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are considering to get those answers in addition to others to help you examine and ultimately choose the right degree program.

Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's imperative to confirm that the interior design school and program that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive assessment of their teachers and programs. Just confirm 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 excellent, it may also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Queen Creek Arizona employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.

Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, 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 college. And in some of those States calling for licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required also. So in addition to furnishing an excellent education, the Queen Creek AZ college you enroll in should also provide the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be working.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will probably need some help in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It might also indicate that the college has a large network of Queen Creek AZ business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial aid departments for the Queen Creek AZ colleges you are looking at and ask what kind of aid they provide. A number of interior designer colleges offer financial aid to their new students. Some schools provide partial scholarships and others provide help in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Queen Creek AZ schools you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Queen Creek home, visit the college and sit in on a few classes. While there talk with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior design program you select offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Queen Creek AZ, make sure 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, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.

Enroll in the Best Interior Designer School near Queen Creek Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Queen Creek ArizonaSelecting the ideal interior designer program is a critical initial step toward launching your career in this creative and fulfilling occupation. Finding a school where you will receive your education and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a challenging task regardless of what major you have selected. As with any undertaking to acquire a higher education, there are several factors to think about before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, verify that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. However it is still imperative that you conduct 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 schools so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Queen Creek Arizona.