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


Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Sun City AZ

How to Find the Best Interior Designer Degree Program

Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Sun City AZ, it's time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's essential that you get the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it's crucial that you carry out the appropriate research so that you can evaluate and compare each college that you are reviewing before you make your ultimate choice. But just where do you start? Many prospective students will begin their research by searching for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are key factors when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into consideration also. We will cover those topics and other crucial questions that you must ask 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 alternatives are available.

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

Interior Design and Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Sun City AZ

Many people mistake interior design for interior decoration. The key distinction between them is the level of training required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, conducting business as an interior designer requires 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 areas attractive as well as functional. On many projects they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are two general areas that an interior designer in Sun City AZ may specialize in:

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

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

Interior Designer Degree Programs

There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to get the training needed to launch your new profession in Sun City AZ. Your choice will undoubtedly be driven by your career goals in addition to the money and time 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 qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in a number of states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum amount of training needed to enter the field. They take roughly two years to finish and programs are offered at a number of Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that furnish more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative components of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs supply advanced training in design after acquiring a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialty majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are primarily for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are usually completed in three to five years.

To work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be needed before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.

Online Interior Design Degree Programs

Sun City AZ student attending interior design school onlineFor anyone wishing to attend classes in the convenience of their Sun City AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design colleges. Attending classes online can be an excellent option for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For many students online programs may be the sole alternative if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated also. Just be sure that the school you enroll in is accredited by a respected accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the dedication to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the ideal alternative for you.

Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Programs

After you have decided on the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of reviewing your school options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the campus must be within driving distance from your Sun City AZ residence. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will decrease your options as well. But selecting the most affordable school or the one that is closest to your house are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you need to look at as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the program. Below are a few concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are looking at to obtain those answers as well as others to help you compare and subsequently choose the right degree program.

Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's essential to confirm that the interior design program and college that you select has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding assessment of their instructors and programs. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are outstanding, it may also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Sun City Arizona employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.

Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States mandating licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required also. So aside from providing an excellent education, the Sun City AZ school you select should also furnish the appropriate instruction 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 received your interior designer certification, you will probably want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job placement 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 profession and its graduates are in demand. It may also indicate that the college has a substantial network of Sun City AZ business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Sun City AZ colleges you are looking at and ask what kind of aid they offer. A number of interior designer colleges offer financial assistance to their new students. Some schools offer partial scholarships while others provide assistance in obtaining grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Sun City AZ programs you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Sun City home, visit the school and monitor a couple of classes. While there talk with some 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 Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior design program you select offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Sun City AZ, make certain that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Enroll in the Best Interior Designer School near Sun City Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Sun City ArizonaSelecting the right interior designer school is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and rewarding occupation. Finding a college where you will receive your education and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a challenging job regardless of what major you have selected. As with any undertaking to attain a higher education, there are many points to think about before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, make sure that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the profession. However it is still imperative that you complete 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 colleges so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Sun City Arizona.