Interior Designer College
How to Enroll in the Right One Near Glendale Arizona
So it’s time to start the task of selecting an interior design school near Glendale AZ once you have made a career choice to become an interior designer. It's imperative that you get the best available training to develop your skills, even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential interiors. And since some states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it's essential you perform the appropriate research in order to assess and compare each college that you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate choice. But just how do you go about enrolling in the right program? Some potential students will launch their research by looking for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. However, a school is not always the best option just because it has the lowest tuition or is located closest to your home. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation must be taken into consideration also. We will address those issues and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training choices are offered.
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Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The principal difference between the two is the amount of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or living areas functional as well as attractive. On some occasions they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Glendale AZ may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers often concentrate predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.
There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui concepts, Glendale AZ interior designers implement a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
Interior Designer Degrees
There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to receive the training necessary to begin your new career in Glendale AZ. Your decision will undoubtedly be motivated by your career objectives in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, be sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in a number of states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum level of training needed to enter the field. They take roughly 2 years to finish and programs are available at a number of Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can typically obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that furnish more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative components of the business required to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These two year programs supply advanced training in design after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialized majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are primarily for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are typically completed in three to five years.
To work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be needed before an applicant can take the licensing examination.
Interior Designer Online Colleges
For anyone wishing' to attend classes in the comfort of their Glendale AZ homes, there are accredited online interior design schools. Studying online can be an excellent alternative for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For a number of students online schools may be the only alternative if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Added costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the program you pick is accredited by a highly regarded 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 education. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the ideal alternative for you.
What to Ask Interior Design Colleges
Once you have decided on the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of evaluating your college options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your Glendale AZ residence. Naturally if you have decided on attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will narrow down your choices also. But selecting the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to your house are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other things that you should consider also, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Following are a few concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and ultimately select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's essential to verify that the interior designer college and program that you choose 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 a demanding assessment of their teachers and programs. Just confirm 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 confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Glendale AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States calling for licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore aside from providing an exceptional education, the Glendale AZ school you enroll in should also provide the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its students are sought after. It could also indicate that the college has a large network of Glendale AZ business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Glendale AZ colleges you are reviewing and ask what type of assistance they provide. A number of interior designer programs provide financial assistance to their new students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide support in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Glendale AZ colleges you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Glendale home, go to the campus and monitor a couple of classes. While there talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior design college you enroll in offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Glendale AZ, verify that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Glendale Interior Design School
Picking the right interior designer college is a crucial first step toward starting your career in this creative and fulfilling profession. Locating a college where you will obtain your training and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a challenging job no matter what field you have selected. As with any endeavor to attain an advanced education, there are many points to think about before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. It is still important that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Glendale Arizona.