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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Scottsdale AZ

How to Enroll in the Right Interior Design College

Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Scottsdale 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 essential that you get the right training to put your talents to work. And since several states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it's vital that you carry out the proper research in order to evaluate and compare each school that you are considering before you make your ultimate choice. But just where do you begin? 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 relevant issues when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into account also. We will cover those topics and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are researching 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 alternatives are offered.

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Interior Decoration vs Interior Design

interior designed living room in Scottsdale AZ

Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design. The main difference between the two is the amount of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or residential areas functional as well as attractive. On many occasions they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Scottsdale AZ can specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically 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 Designing. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers often focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.

There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, for example lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. They have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Scottsdale Arizona interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
 

Interior Design Degree Options

There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to receive the training needed to start your new profession in Scottsdale AZ. Your selection will undoubtedly be driven by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in several states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum level of education needed to enter the field. They take roughly 2 years to finish and programs are offered at numerous Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical components of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the minimum 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 achieving the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide alternatives in specialized majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are primarily for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are normally completed in three to five years.

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

Why Train to Become an Interior Designer?

Scottsdale 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.

Topics to Ask Interior Design Schools

Now that you have decided on the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of analyzing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the college must be within driving distance from your Scottsdale AZ home. Naturally if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will decrease your choices also. But selecting the most affordable school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you need to consider as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are considering to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you assess and subsequently select the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's imperative to confirm that the interior design college and program that you enroll in has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive evaluation of their programs and teachers. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it may also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Scottsdale Arizona employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.

Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do require 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 requiring licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. So besides providing an outstanding education, the Scottsdale AZ school you select should also furnish the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be working.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some help in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It could also signify that the college has a large network of Scottsdale AZ business connections where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Scottsdale AZ schools you are looking at and find out what kind of aid they provide. Many of interior designer colleges offer financial aid to their new students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in obtaining federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Scottsdale AZ programs you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Scottsdale home, visit the campus and sit in on a few classes. While there talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior design school you enroll in offers classes the fit your hectic 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 Scottsdale AZ, make certain that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Enroll in the Right Interior Design Program near Scottsdale Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Scottsdale ArizonaChoosing the right interior designer program is an important initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and fulfilling occupation. Searching for a college where you will obtain your education and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a challenging job no matter what major you have decided on. As with any endeavor to receive an advanced education, there are a number of factors to consider before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the business. But it is still imperative that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design programs so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Scottsdale Arizona.