Interior Designer Program
How to Find the Right One Near Chandler Arizona
So it’s time to begin the process of picking an interior design school near Chandler AZ now that you have made a career choice 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 receive the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since interior designers must be licensed in a number of states, the college you select should prepare you to pass any required licensing exam and provide the proper training for your specialty. So it's very important you do the appropriate research in order to assess and compare each school that you are considering before you make your final decision. But exactly where do you start? Some prospective students will begin their research by searching for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are important factors when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation need to be taken into account as well. We will cover those issues and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit about the degree and training choices are available.
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Interior Designer Degree Options
There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to acquire the training required to launch your new profession in Chandler AZ. Your choice will no doubt be driven by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in a number of states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum level of education required to enter the field. They take about two years to complete and programs are available at a number of Arizona community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that provide more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative aspects of the business required to become a designer. They are the minimum 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 furnish advanced design training after achieving the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialty 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 the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mostly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be needed before an applicant can take the licensing exam.
Interior Designer Online Courses
For individuals who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their Chandler AZ homes, there are accredited online interior design colleges. Studying online can be an excellent alternative for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For some students online colleges may be the sole option if no interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an added 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 as well. Just be sure that the school you choose is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the perfect alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Design Schools
After you have chosen the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of analyzing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the campus has to be within driving distance from your Chandler AZ home. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will limit your choices as well. But picking the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you need to consider as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are looking at to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and subsequently pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's imperative to make sure that the interior design program and school that you select has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just make sure 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 verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are excellent, it may also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Chandler AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do mandate 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 college. And in several of those States mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore aside from furnishing an outstanding education, the Chandler AZ program you enroll in should also provide the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will probably need some help in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It could also signify that the college has a sizable network of Chandler AZ business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Contact the financial aid departments for the Chandler AZ schools you are evaluating and find out what type of assistance they provide. A number of interior designer programs provide financial assistance to their new students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide help in acquiring grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Chandler AZ programs you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Chandler home, go to the school and sit in on a few classes. While there speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior designer college you select offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Chandler AZ, make certain that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Enroll in the Right Chandler Interior Design College
Choosing the ideal interior designer college is a crucial first step toward launching your career in this creative and rewarding occupation. Locating a college where you will obtain your training and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a challenging task no matter what field you have decided on. As with any undertaking to attain an advanced education, there are a number of factors to consider before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. It is still imperative that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design schools so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Chandler Arizona.