Interior Designer Program
How to Enroll in the Right One Near Chandler Arizona
So it’s time to begin the task of choosing an interior design school near Chandler AZ now that you have made a career decision to become an interior designer. It's imperative that you get the best available training to put your skills to work, even if you have always had a knack for designing commercial or residential interiors. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So in order to analyze and compare each college you are looking at prior to making your final decision it's very important that you carry out the proper research. But just where do you begin? When looking for interior design schools, the majority of students start by zeroing in on those that are closest to their homes with the lowest tuition. However, a school is not always the right option just because it has the lowest tuition or is located closest to your home. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation must be taken into account also. We will cover those issues and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But before we do, let's cover a little bit about the degree and class options are available.
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Interior Design Degree Programs
There are four degree options available in interior design to get the training required to start your new career in Chandler AZ. Your decision will no doubt be influenced by your career objectives as well as the money and time that you have to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, be sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in some states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum level of education required to enter the field. They take about two years to finish and programs are available at a number of Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that supply more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical facets of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the minimum credential 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 training in design after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer options in specialty majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are mostly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be needed before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Degree Programs
For students who to study in the convenience of their Chandler AZ homes, there are accredited online interior design schools. Studying online can be a great alternative for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For a number of students online programs may be the only option if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Added costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the college you pick is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the dedication to obtain your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
When you have decided on the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of reviewing your college options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the school has to be within commuting distance from your Chandler AZ residence. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will limit your choices as well. But picking the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other things that you should look at also, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Below are a few questions that you may want to ask the schools you are looking at to obtain those answers as well as others to help you assess and subsequently select the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's necessary to make sure that the interior designer program and school that you choose has been accredited by either a regional or national 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 undergone a rigorous evaluation of their programs and teachers. Just confirm that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are excellent, it may also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Chandler AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do mandate 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 several of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required as well. So aside from providing an outstanding education, the Chandler AZ school you choose should also furnish the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some help in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It may also signify that the school has a large network of Chandler AZ business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Chandler AZ schools you are evaluating and ask what type of assistance they provide. Many of interior design colleges provide financial aid to their new students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Chandler AZ schools you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Chandler home, visit the college and sit in on a few classes. While there speak with a few students and ask 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? Last, confirm that the interior design school you choose offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant 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 enroll part-time, confirm that is an option also. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Enroll in the Right Chandler Interior Design College
Selecting the right interior designer college is a crucial first step toward starting your career in this artistic and fulfilling profession. Searching for a school where you will obtain your training and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a daunting task no matter what field you have selected. As with any undertaking to acquire an advanced education, there are many things to think about before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the business. It is still imperative that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Chandler Arizona.