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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Scottsdale AZ

How to Enroll in the Best Interior Design College

Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Scottsdale AZ, it's time to begin the process of choosing 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 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 exam as well. So it's very important that you do the appropriate research so that you can evaluate and compare each program that you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision. But just where do you begin? Some prospective students will start their research by looking for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are relevant variables when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation need to be considered as well. We will address those topics and other crucial questions that you should be asking 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 choices are offered.

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Interior Decoration and Interior Design

interior designed living room in Scottsdale AZ

Some people mistake interior decoration for interior design. The key distinction between the two is the level of education required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, doing business as an interior designer requires formal training and in a number of 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 attractive as well as functional. On some occasions they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Scottsdale AZ may specialize in:

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

There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui principles, Scottsdale Arizona interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
 

Interior Designer Degree Options

There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to get the training required to begin your new profession in Scottsdale AZ. Your choice will undoubtedly be driven by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose 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) examination required in some states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum level of training needed to enter the profession. They take approximately 2 years to complete and programs are offered at many Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can typically obtain 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 deal with the creative and technical components of the business needed to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced training in design after acquiring the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide alternatives in specialty majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are mainly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are typically 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 several instances, two or more years of field experience may be called for before a candidate can take the licensing examination.

Why 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 Designer Colleges

After you have selected the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of analyzing your school options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the campus must be within driving distance from your Scottsdale AZ residence. Naturally if you have decided on attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will narrow down your options also. But choosing the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you need to consider also, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a few questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are reviewing to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and ultimately select the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's necessary to verify that the interior design program and school that you select has been accredited by either a national or regional organization. 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 an extensive evaluation of their programs and teachers. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. 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 offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Scottsdale Arizona employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.

Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of 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 program. And in some of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required also. So in addition to providing an outstanding education, the Scottsdale AZ college you choose should also provide the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will probably need some help in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It might also indicate that the college has a significant network of Scottsdale AZ business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Scottsdale AZ schools you are evaluating and ask what kind of support they provide. A number of interior design colleges provide financial aid to their incoming students. Some schools offer partial scholarships and others provide help in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts 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 may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Scottsdale AZ colleges you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Scottsdale home, visit the school and attend a couple of classes. While there talk with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior designer school you select provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Scottsdale AZ, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.

Enroll in the Best Interior Designer Program near Scottsdale Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Scottsdale ArizonaSelecting the right interior designer program is an important initial step toward launching your career in this creative and fulfilling occupation. Locating a school where you will receive your education and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a challenging task regardless of what major you have selected. As with any endeavor to attain an advanced education, there are a number of points to consider before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. However it is still essential that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design schools so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Scottsdale Arizona.