Interior Designer Course
How to Choose the Right One Near Chandler Arizona
So it’s time to begin the process of picking an interior design school near Chandler AZ once 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 essential that you receive the right training to put your skills to work. And because interior designers must be licensed in a number of states, the school you choose should prepare you to pass any required licensing test as well as provide the proper training for your specialty. So in order to evaluate and compare each college you are reviewing before you make your final choice it's essential that you do the appropriate research. But just how do you undertake finding the right school? Some potential students will launch their research by searching for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are important factors when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. There are a number of other factors that you should weigh when analyzing schools, such as reputation and accreditation. We will discuss those issues and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are available.
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Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Many people confuse interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The key distinction between the two is the amount of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, working as an interior designer requires a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or residential spaces attractive as well as functional. On many occasions they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are two broad areas that an interior designer in Chandler AZ may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any area of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers often concentrate predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.
There are numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. They have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui principles, Chandler AZ interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final creations.
Interior Designer Degrees
There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to receive the training needed to start 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 pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in several states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum amount of education required to enter the profession. They take approximately two years to complete and programs are offered at many Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can typically obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that furnish more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative aspects of the business 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 two year programs supply advanced training in design after achieving a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialty majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to advance 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 college or university level. The programs vary in length but are typically completed in three to five years.
In order to work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be needed before an applicant can take the licensing exam.
Online Interior Designer Classes
For those who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Chandler AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design degrees. Studying online can be an excellent option for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For many students online schools may be the sole alternative if no interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the college you choose is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the dedication 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 Designer Programs
Once you have selected the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of analyzing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the school has to be within driving distance from your Chandler AZ residence. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will decrease your choices as well. But picking the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other things that you need to consider as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Below are a few questions that you may want to ask the programs you are looking at to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you examine and subsequently select the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's necessary to confirm that the interior design college and program that you enroll in has earned accreditation from 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 earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding assessment of their programs and instructors. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are outstanding, it may also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Chandler AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to furnishing an excellent education, the Chandler AZ school you select should also furnish the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy 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 designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some support in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It might also indicate that the college has a significant network of Chandler AZ business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Contact the financial aid offices for the Chandler AZ schools you are reviewing and find out what type of support they provide. Many of interior design programs provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Some schools offer partial scholarships while others provide help in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Chandler AZ programs you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Chandler 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 approaches are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior designer college you enroll in provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Chandler AZ, confirm that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Learn More About Studying to Become an Interior Designer in Chandler
Choose the Right Chandler Interior Design College
Picking the ideal interior design college is an important first step toward launching your career in this creative and fulfilling profession. Locating a college where you will receive your training and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a challenging job regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to attain a higher education, there are many points to think about before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the field. It is still essential that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design schools so that you can make the right final selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Chandler Arizona.
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