Interior Designer College
How to Enroll in the Best One Near Chandler Arizona
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design degree program near Chandler AZ, it's time to begin the process of selecting a school. It's important that you get the best available training to put your skills to work, even if you have always had a knack for designing residential or commercial interiors. And since interior designers must be licensed in a number of states, the college you choose should prepare you to pass any required licensing test as well as provide the proper training for your specialty. So it's essential you carry out the appropriate research in order to evaluate and compare each program that you are reviewing prior to making your final choice. But where do you start? Many potential students will kick off their research by looking for interior design courses near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are key factors when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. There are a number of other factors that you should weigh when analyzing schools, for instance accreditation and reputation. We will discuss those topics and other crucial 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 options are offered.
IT TAKES JUST A FEW MINUTES TO START YOUR INTERIOR DESIGN CAREER BELOW!
Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Some people mistake interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The key distinction between the two is the amount of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer necessitates 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 educated to make living or work spaces functional as well as attractive. On some occasions they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Chandler AZ can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers often 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 kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers normally focus predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may focus more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.
There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, such as lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui concepts, Chandler AZ interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final creations.
Interior Designer Degree Options
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to obtain the training necessary to launch your new career in Chandler AZ. Your decision will undoubtedly be motivated by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt 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 covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum amount of education required to enter the field. They take about 2 years to finish and programs are available at many Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can typically obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that supply more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical components of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced training in design after achieving a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer options in specialty majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mainly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be needed before a candidate can take the licensing exam.
Online Interior Design Schools
For students who to attend classes in the comfort of their Chandler AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design classes. Attending classes online can be a great alternative for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For many students online colleges may be the sole alternative if no interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Additional expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the college you select is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the right alternative for you.
What to Ask Interior Design Schools
Once you have decided on the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of analyzing your school options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the school has to be within commuting distance from your Chandler AZ residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will limit your options as well. But choosing the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you need to consider also, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Following are a few concerns that you may want to address with the colleges you are looking at to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and ultimately choose the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the interior design program and school that you enroll in 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). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding evaluation of their instructors 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 agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are outstanding, it might also help when requesting financial aid 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 schools 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 require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States calling for licensing, at least 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. So besides furnishing an exceptional education, the Chandler AZ school you select should also provide the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be working.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some support in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It might also signify that the school has a significant network of Chandler AZ business connections where they can place students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Chandler AZ colleges you are evaluating and ask what kind of support they provide. Many of interior design programs provide financial aid to their incoming students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide support in obtaining grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Chandler AZ colleges you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Chandler home, visit the school and monitor a couple of classes. While there speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior design program you choose offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Chandler AZ, make sure that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Best Chandler Interior Design School
Choosing the ideal interior design program is an important first step toward launching your career in this creative and fulfilling occupation. Locating a school where you will receive your training and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a challenging task regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to attain a higher education, there are a number of things to think about before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the profession. It is still essential that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design programs so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with quality training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Chandler Arizona.