Interior Designer Program
How to Choose the Best One Near Avondale Arizona
So it’s time to start the task of picking an interior design school near Avondale AZ once you have made a career decision to study to be an interior designer. It's important that you get the appropriate training to develop your skills, even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential interiors. And because interior designers must be licensed in a number of states, the college you select should prep you to pass any required licensing exam and provide the necessary training for your specialty. So in order to evaluate and compare each program you are reviewing before you make your final selection it's essential that you perform the proper research. But just how do you undertake enrolling in the right program? A number of future students will kick off their research by searching for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. However, a school is not always the best choice just because it happens to have a campus near your home or is lower in cost. There are many other factors that you should evaluate when comparing schools, such as reputation and accreditation. We will cover those issues and other vital questions that you must ask 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 class alternatives are available.
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Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Often people confuse interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The principal difference between them is the amount of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. However, doing business as an interior designer requires formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or residential areas attractive as well as functional. On some projects they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Avondale AZ can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any room of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers frequently focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over looks as the main concern.
There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, including lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. They need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui concepts, Avondale AZ interior designers implement a wide range of skills that help bring about their final designs.
Interior Design Degree Options
There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to get the training required to start your new career in Avondale AZ. Your decision will no doubt be influenced by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in several states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum level of training needed to enter the profession. They take roughly 2 years to finish and programs are available at numerous Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that deliver more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical components of the trade 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 two year programs furnish advanced training in design after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives in specialty majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mostly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are generally completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be needed before an applicant can take the licensing examination.
Interior Designer Online Schools
For students who to attend classes in the convenience of their Avondale AZ homes, there are accredited online interior design schools. Studying online can be an excellent option for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer 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 added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Added costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated also. Just make certain that the school you choose is accredited by a highly regarded 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 online or distance education. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the ideal alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Design Schools
When you have chosen the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the task of assessing your school options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the school must be within commuting distance from your Avondale AZ home. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will narrow down your options also. But picking 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 factors that you need to consider as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are looking at to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and subsequently select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's important to verify that the interior designer school and program that you choose has earned accreditation from 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 earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just verify 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 verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are outstanding, it may also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Avondale AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the College Prepare 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 college. And in some of those States mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. So besides furnishing an exceptional education, the Avondale AZ school you choose should also provide the proper education to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will no doubt need some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It might also indicate that the college has a significant network of Avondale AZ business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Available? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Avondale AZ colleges you are evaluating and ask what type of assistance they offer. A number of interior designer colleges provide financial aid to their new students. Various schools provide partial scholarships while others provide help in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Avondale AZ programs you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Avondale home, go to the college and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior design school you choose 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 at night or on weekends near Avondale AZ, verify that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Choose the Right Avondale Interior Design School
Choosing the ideal interior design college is a crucial initial step toward launching your career in this creative and fulfilling occupation. Searching for a school where you will receive your education and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a daunting task regardless of what major you have chosen. 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, check that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the field. It is still imperative that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design programs so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Avondale Arizona.