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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Sun City AZ

How to Pick the Right Interior Design Program

Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design school near Sun City 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 imperative that you get the appropriate training to put your skills to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's essential that you perform the proper research in order to analyze and compare each program that you are considering before you make your ultimate choice. But exactly where do you begin? A number of prospective students will start their research by looking for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are important issues when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into consideration as well. We will cover those issues and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are researching 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 Sun City AZ

Often people confuse interior design for interior decoration. The principal distinction between them is the level of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they have a general 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 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 spaces functional as well as attractive. On some projects they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are two broad areas that an interior designer in Sun City AZ can specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any room of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial areas, designers often focus 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 focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over looks as the main consideration.

There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, including color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers must 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 principles, Sun City Arizona interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final designs.
 

Interior Designer Degrees

There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to acquire the training needed to launch your new career in Sun City AZ. Your choice will undoubtedly be motivated by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, make certain to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in some states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum level of education required to enter the profession. They take about 2 years to finish and programs are available at a number of Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that supply more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative facets of the business required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced training in design after acquiring a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer choices 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. Doctorate programs are largely for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are generally completed in 3 to 5 years.

To work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be called for before an applicant can take the licensing examination.

Why Do You Want to Be 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.

Topics to Ask Interior Designer Colleges

Once you have chosen the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of reviewing your college options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the college needs to be within commuting distance from your Sun City AZ home. Naturally if you have decided on attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will decrease your choices as well. But picking the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to home are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you need to consider as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others to help you compare and ultimately select the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's imperative to make sure that the interior design program and college that you choose has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive assessment of their teachers and programs. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are outstanding, it might also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Sun City Arizona employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.

Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do require 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 school. And in some of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of occupational experience may be required also. So in addition to providing an exceptional education, the Sun City AZ program you select should also provide the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be working.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some support in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It could also signify that the college has a substantial network of Sun City AZ business connections where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Sun City AZ schools you are evaluating and ask what kind of aid they offer. Many of interior designer schools offer financial assistance to their new students. Certain schools offer partial scholarships and others provide support in acquiring grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts 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 probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Sun City AZ schools you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Sun City home, visit the school and monitor a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior designer college you choose offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Sun City AZ, confirm that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.

Enroll in the Right Interior Design College near Sun City Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Sun City ArizonaPicking the ideal interior design school is an important initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and gratifying occupation. Finding a school where you will obtain your education and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a challenging task no matter what field you have chosen. As with any endeavor to attain a higher education, there are a number of points to consider before choosing a school, program, or course. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the business. However it is still important that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the right final selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Sun City Arizona.