Interior Designer School
How to Find the Best One Near Avondale Arizona
So it’s time to begin the process of picking an interior design school near Avondale AZ once you have made a career decision to study to be an interior designer. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's imperative that you get the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's vital you carry out the proper research so that you can evaluate and compare each college that you are considering before you make your final selection. But just how do you go about enrolling in the right program? When checking out interior design schools, many potential students begin by targeting the ones that are closest to their homes with the lowest tuition. While location and cost are important issues when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. There are a number of other factors that you should weigh when comparing schools, for example accreditation and reputation. We will cover those issues and other crucial 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 class alternatives are available.
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Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The principal difference between them is the level of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general 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 trained to make work or residential spaces functional as well as attractive. On many projects they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Avondale AZ can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers typically 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 specific room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers often focus primarily 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 stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the main consideration.
There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, including lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Avondale AZ interior designers employ a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to get the training needed to begin your new profession in Avondale AZ. Your selection will undoubtedly be influenced by your career objectives 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 certain to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in some states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum amount of education needed to enter the field. They take approximately 2 years to finish and programs are offered at a number of Arizona community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can normally obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical components of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced design training after acquiring the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives 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 their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are largely for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be needed before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.
Online Interior Designer Schools
For anyone wishing' to attend classes in the comfort of their Avondale AZ homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Attending classes online can be a great alternative for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For a number of students online schools may be the sole option if no interior design schools are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Additional costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the program you select is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the discipline to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the right option for you.
What to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
When you have chosen the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of assessing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the school must be within driving distance from your Avondale AZ residence. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will limit your choices as well. But choosing the least expensive school or the one that is closest to home are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you should look at as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a list of questions that you may want to address with the programs you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and subsequently select the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's imperative to confirm that the interior designer college and program that you select 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). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are outstanding, it might also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Avondale AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, 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 in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States calling for licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore in addition to providing an outstanding education, the Avondale AZ school you choose should also provide the proper training to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet 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 earned your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It may also signify that the school has a significant network of Avondale AZ business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Avondale AZ schools you are reviewing and ask what kind of support they provide. Many of interior design programs offer financial aid to their incoming students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Avondale AZ programs you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Avondale home, visit the school 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, verify that the interior designer program you enroll in offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Avondale AZ, verify that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Learn More About How to Become an Interior Designer in Avondale
Choose the Best Avondale Interior Design School
Picking the right interior design program is an important initial step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding occupation. Searching for a college where you will obtain your education and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a daunting task no matter what field you have chosen. As with any undertaking to receive a higher education, there are a number of things to consider before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. It is still important that you conduct your due diligence research. 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 programs so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Avondale Arizona.
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