Home >> Arizona >> Surprise >> Interior Design Degrees


Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Surprise AZ

How to Pick the Right Interior Design Degree Program

Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer college near Surprise AZ, it's time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's essential that you get the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's essential that you perform the appropriate research in order to assess and compare each school that you are considering before you make your final choice. But exactly where do you begin? Many future students will start their research by searching for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are important issues when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be considered as well. We will discuss those issues and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But before we do, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are available.

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

Interior Decoration vs Interior Design

interior designed living room in Surprise AZ

Often people confuse interior design for interior decoration. The primary difference between them is the level of education required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make living or work areas attractive as well as functional. On many projects they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad areas that an interior designer in Surprise AZ can specialize in:

  • Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any area of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Design. When dealing with public or commercial areas, designers frequently concentrate primarily 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 focus more on functionality over looks as the main consideration.

There are numerous areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, for example lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Surprise Arizona interior designers employ a wide range of skills that help bring about their final creations.
 

Interior Designer Training Programs

There are four degree options available in interior design to acquire the training necessary to start your new profession in Surprise AZ. Your selection will no doubt be influenced by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, be sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in several states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum amount of education required to enter the profession. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are offered at numerous Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can usually obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that provide more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical aspects of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a college graduate in order to obtain 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 choices in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are mainly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are generally completed in 3 to 5 years.

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

Subjects to Ask Interior Design Schools

Surprise Arizona interior designer bathroomNow that you have decided on the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of analyzing your college options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the campus must be within driving distance from your Surprise AZ home. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will limit your choices as well. But picking the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you should consider also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a few concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are considering to get those answers in addition to others to help you assess and subsequently select the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's essential to confirm that the interior design program and school that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. 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 a rigorous evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just verify 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 confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are outstanding, it might also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Surprise Arizona employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.

Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, 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 program. And in some of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore besides providing an excellent education, the Surprise AZ program you select should also provide the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are considering 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 college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It could also indicate that the school has a large network of Surprise AZ business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Surprise AZ schools you are evaluating and ask what kind of support they provide. A number of interior design colleges offer financial assistance to their new students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide assistance in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Surprise AZ schools you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Surprise home, visit the campus and sit in on a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior design college you enroll in provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Surprise AZ, confirm that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.

Enroll in the Best Interior Design Program near Surprise Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Surprise ArizonaPicking the ideal interior designer program is a critical first step toward launching your career in this creative and rewarding occupation. Finding a college where you will obtain your training and develop your skills in a particular 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 a number of things to consider before choosing a school, program, or course. At a minimum, confirm that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the field. But it is still imperative that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design programs so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Surprise Arizona.