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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Scottsdale AZ

How to Enroll in the Best Interior Designer School

Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design college near Scottsdale AZ, it's time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's important that you get the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's essential that you carry out the proper research in order to assess and compare each school that you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection. But where do you begin? A number of future students will kick off their research by looking for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are relevant factors when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation must be considered as well. We will discuss those topics and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, 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 vs Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Scottsdale AZ

Often people confuse interior design for interior decoration. The main distinction between them is the amount of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, conducting 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 taught to make work or living spaces attractive as well as functional. On many projects they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Scottsdale AZ may specialize in:

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

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

Interior Designer Degree Programs

There are four degree options available in interior design to receive the training required to begin your new career in Scottsdale AZ. Your choice will undoubtedly be driven by your career objectives in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in a number of states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum amount of training needed to enter the profession. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are offered at many Arizona community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can normally obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative aspects of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced design training after achieving a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide alternatives in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are mainly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary in length but are normally completed in three to five years.

To work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be called for before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.

Questions to Ask Interior Design Colleges

Scottsdale Arizona interior designer bathroomNow that you have chosen the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of analyzing your school options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the college has to be within driving distance from your Scottsdale AZ residence. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will decrease your choices as well. But selecting the most affordable college or the one that is closest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you need to consider as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Below are a few questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and subsequently select the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's necessary to make sure that the interior design program and school that you choose has earned accreditation from either a regional or national 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 a demanding evaluation of their programs and teachers. Just make sure 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 college and the quality of the education are outstanding, it may also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Scottsdale Arizona employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.

Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States calling for licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required also. So besides providing an excellent education, the Scottsdale AZ college you select should also provide the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some support in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are held in high regard 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 contacts where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Available? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Scottsdale AZ colleges you are looking at and ask what type of support they offer. A number of interior designer programs provide financial aid to their new students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Scottsdale AZ colleges you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Scottsdale home, visit the college and attend a few classes. While there talk with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior designer school you enroll in provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Scottsdale AZ, confirm that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Enroll in the Right Interior Design School near Scottsdale Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Scottsdale ArizonaSelecting the right interior design program is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and gratifying profession. Searching for a college where you will receive your education and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a difficult task regardless of what major you have selected. As with any undertaking to acquire a higher education, there are many factors to think about before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the profession. However it is still essential that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Scottsdale Arizona.