Interior Designer School
How to Enroll in the Right One Near Glendale Arizona
So it’s time to begin the process of selecting an interior design school near Glendale AZ now that you have made a career choice to study to be an interior designer. It's imperative that you get the appropriate training to develop your skills, even if you have always had a knack for designing commercial or residential interiors. And since interior designers must be licensed in a number of states, the school you choose should prep you to pass any required licensing exam and provide the proper training for your specialty. So in order to assess and compare each college you are reviewing before you make your final selection it's very important that you do the proper due diligence. But exactly where do you begin? Some future students will launch their research by looking for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are key factors when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation must be considered also. We will cover those topics and other important questions that you should be asking 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 training options are available.
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Interior Design Degrees
There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to acquire the training required to start your new profession in Glendale AZ. Your choice will no doubt be motivated by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in several states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum amount of training required to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to finish and programs are offered 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 in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative facets of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These two year programs supply advanced design training after achieving a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer options in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are largely for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are generally completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be needed before a candidate can take the licensing exam.
Interior Designer Online Courses
For anyone wishing' to study in the convenience of their Glendale AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design schools. Studying online can be a good option for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For a number of 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 lower than for more conventional options. Additional costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated also. Just be sure that the college you pick is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
When you have chosen the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of analyzing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the college has to be within commuting distance from your Glendale AZ home. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will decrease your options as well. But picking the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to home are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you should consider as well, including the accreditation and reputation 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 as well as others to help you compare and subsequently select the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's important to verify that the interior designer program and school that you choose has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. 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 programs and teachers. Just confirm that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are outstanding, it may also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Glendale AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do mandate that interior designers get 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 some of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore besides furnishing an excellent education, the Glendale AZ school you enroll in should also provide the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy 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 earned your interior design certification, you will no doubt need some support in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It may also signify that the school has a large network of Glendale AZ business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Glendale AZ colleges you are evaluating and find out what type of assistance they provide. A number of interior designer schools provide financial assistance to their new students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in acquiring federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they provide 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 minimal 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, visit the school and monitor 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 backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior design school you choose provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Glendale AZ, verify that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Glendale Interior Design School
Selecting the ideal interior designer school is a crucial first step toward starting your career in this artistic and fulfilling profession. Finding a school where you will receive your training and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a daunting task regardless of what major you have selected. As with any endeavor to attain an advanced education, there are a number of points to think about before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design college are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. It is still essential that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design programs so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Glendale Arizona.