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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Sun City AZ

How to Pick the Best Interior Design Program

Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer school near Sun City AZ, it's time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's imperative that you receive the appropriate training to put your talents to work. And since some states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it's essential that you carry out the appropriate research so that you can evaluate and compare each program that you are looking at prior to making your final selection. But exactly where do you start? A number of prospective students will kick off their research by searching for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are key issues when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into account also. We will address those issues and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But first, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class choices are offered.

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Interior Design and Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Sun City AZ

Often people mistake interior design for interior decoration. The primary distinction between the two is the amount of education required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. However, working as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or residential areas functional as well as attractive. On many projects they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Sun City AZ may specialize in:

  • Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers normally concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.

There are numerous areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, such as lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui principles, Sun City Arizona interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that help bring about their final designs.
 

Interior Design Training Programs

There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to acquire the training needed to launch your new career in Sun City AZ. Your choice will no doubt be driven by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, be sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in a number of 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. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum amount of education needed to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to finish and programs are offered at many Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can typically obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that deliver more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative components 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 position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced design training 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 enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are mainly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.

In order to work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required before a candidate can take the licensing examination.

Why Study to Become an Interior Designer?

Sun City 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.

Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Programs

When you have chosen the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of reviewing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the college needs to be within commuting distance from your Sun City AZ residence. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will narrow down your options also. But selecting the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you need to consider as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a list of questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are considering to get those answers as well as others to help you assess and ultimately select the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's necessary to verify that the interior designer program and school that you select has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive assessment of their instructors and programs. 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 education are outstanding, it may also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Sun City Arizona employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.

Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States calling for licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore besides providing an exceptional education, the Sun City AZ school you choose should also furnish the suitable instruction 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 Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior designer 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, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its students are sought after. It could also signify that the college has a substantial network of Sun City AZ business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Sun City AZ schools you are looking at and ask what kind of support they offer. A number of interior design colleges offer financial aid to their new students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide support in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Sun City AZ programs you are considering what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Sun City home, visit the school and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior designer college you enroll in offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Sun City AZ, make certain that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.

Enroll in the Best Interior Designer School near Sun City Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Sun City ArizonaPicking the ideal interior design program is an important first step toward starting your career in this artistic and fulfilling occupation. Locating a school where you will obtain your education and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a difficult task no matter what field you have chosen. As with any endeavor to acquire an advanced education, there are many things to think about before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. But it is still essential that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design programs so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Sun City Arizona.