Home >> Arizona >> Sun City >> Interior Design Schools Online


Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Sun City AZ

How to Enroll in the Best Interior Designer College

Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design school near Sun City 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 essential that you obtain the appropriate training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's very important that you do the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each college that you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate choice. But just where do you start? Some potential students will begin their research by looking for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are important factors when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation should be considered also. We will discuss those topics and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are reviewing 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 available.

Start Your Interior Design Career By Requesting Free Info on Local Schools Below

Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Sun City AZ

Many people confuse interior design for interior decoration. The principal difference between them is the level of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer requires 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 various projects they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Sun City 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, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers normally focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the primary concern.

There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, including lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui concepts, Sun City Arizona interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final creations.
 

Interior Design Degree Programs

There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to obtain the training necessary to launch your new profession in Sun City AZ. Your choice will undoubtedly be influenced by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make certain to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in several states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum amount of training needed to enter the field. They take approximately two years to finish and programs are offered at numerous Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can normally 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 required 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 attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer choices in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mostly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are normally completed in three to five years.

To work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be required before an applicant can take the licensing examination.

Online Interior Design Schools

Sun City AZ student attending interior design school onlineFor those who wish to study in the convenience of their Sun City AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design programs. Studying online can be an excellent alternative for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For many students online schools may be the sole option if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make certain that the college you select is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the right option for you.

Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Programs

When you have decided on the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of reviewing your school options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the college has to be within driving distance from your Sun City AZ residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will limit your options also. But choosing the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you need to consider as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a few questions that you may want to address with the schools you are looking at to get those answers as well as others to help you assess and subsequently select the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's necessary to confirm that the interior design school and program that you enroll in 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 instructors and programs. Just verify that both the degree program and the college 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 training are exceptional, it might also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Sun City Arizona employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.

Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore besides furnishing an outstanding education, the Sun City AZ college you select should also provide the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill 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 received your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some support in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It may also signify that the school has a significant network of Sun City AZ business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Sun City AZ schools you are reviewing and ask what kind of support they offer. Many of interior design colleges provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide help in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Sun City AZ programs you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Sun City home, visit the school and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few 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 Available that Fit your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior designer school you select provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Sun City AZ, confirm that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Choose the Best Interior Designer College near Sun City Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Sun City ArizonaSelecting the right interior designer program is an important initial step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding profession. Searching for a college where you will receive your education and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a challenging job no matter what major you have decided on. As with any undertaking to receive a higher education, there are many points to consider before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. But it is still essential that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Sun City Arizona.