Home >> Arizona >> Tempe >> Interior Design Courses


Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Tempe AZ

How to Find the Best Interior Designer Program

Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design college near Tempe AZ, it's time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's important that you get the appropriate 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 could need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it's very important that you perform the appropriate research in order to analyze and compare each school that you are looking at prior to making your final decision. But exactly where do you begin? Many future students will start their research by searching for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are important issues when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into account as well. We will address those topics and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training choices are offered.

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

Interior Design vs Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Tempe AZ

Often people confuse interior decoration for interior design. The primary distinction between the two is the amount of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. However, doing business 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 trained to make work or residential areas attractive as well as functional. On various projects they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Tempe AZ may specialize in:

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

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

Interior Design Degree Programs

There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to receive the training needed to start your new profession in Tempe AZ. Your decision will no doubt be motivated by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in some states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum amount of education required to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to complete and programs are offered at numerous Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can usually obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that supply more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical facets of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs provide advanced design training after achieving a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are primarily for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are typically completed in three to five years.

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, two or more years of field experience may be needed before a candidate can take the licensing examination.

Subjects to Ask Interior Design Colleges

Tempe Arizona interior designer bathroomNow that you have decided on the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of reviewing your school options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the campus needs to be within driving distance from your Tempe AZ home. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will limit your options as well. But selecting the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you should look at also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a few concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and subsequently choose the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's important to confirm that the interior design school and program that you choose has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the industry 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 programs and instructors. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it may also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Tempe Arizona employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.

Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States calling for licensing, at least 2 years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore aside from providing an outstanding education, the Tempe AZ program you enroll in should also furnish the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be working.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will probably need some support in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It might also indicate that the college has a sizable network of Tempe AZ business connections where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Tempe AZ schools you are reviewing and ask what type of support they offer. Many of interior design colleges offer financial aid to their incoming students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide support in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Tempe AZ programs you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Tempe home, visit the school and monitor a few classes. While there speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior design college you select provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Tempe AZ, make sure that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.

Enroll in the Best Interior Design School near Tempe Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Tempe ArizonaChoosing the right interior design school is a crucial initial step toward launching your career in this creative and gratifying occupation. Locating a school where you will obtain your training and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a challenging task no matter what field you have selected. As with any undertaking to attain a higher education, there are several things to consider before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. However it is still essential that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Tempe Arizona.