How to Find an Interior Designer Degree Program near Glendale Arizona
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Glendale AZ, it’s time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial interiors, it’s imperative that you receive the appropriate training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it’s very important that you carry out the appropriate research so that you can evaluate and compare each school that you are considering before you make your final choice. But exactly where do you start? Many prospective students will start their research by looking for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are key factors when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation must be taken into consideration as well. We will address those topics and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But before we do, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training options are available.
Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design
Many people confuse interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The key distinction between the two is the level of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator in Glendale AZ if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, working as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or residential spaces functional as well as attractive. On various occasions they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers in Glendale AZ frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, Glendale AZ designers normally concentrate primarily 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 hospitals and banks might concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.
There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design in Glendale AZ that a designer needs to learn, such as color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. They 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, interior designers implement a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
Interior Design Degree Options
There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to get the training needed to start your new profession. Your decision will undoubtedly be influenced by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, be sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated 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. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered near Glendale AZ.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum level of education needed to enter the field. They take approximately 2 years to finish and programs are available at a number of Glendale AZ area community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can normally obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that provide more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative facets of the business required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced training in design after achieving the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer choices in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are primarily for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are normally completed in three to five years.
In order to work as a professional and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be required before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.
Interior Designer Online Schools
For anyone wishing’ to attend classes in the convenience of their homes, there are accredited online interior design degrees. Attending classes online can be a good option for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For many students online programs may be the sole alternative if no Glendale AZ area interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Additional expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated also. Just make sure that the college you choose is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online 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 right option for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Design Programs
Once you have chosen the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of evaluating your Glendale AZ area school options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the campus must be within commuting distance from your home. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will limit your options also. But choosing the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your house are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you need to consider also, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others to help you compare and ultimately choose the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It’s necessary to confirm that the interior designer program and college that you select has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding assessment of their teachers and programs. 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 establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are outstanding, it might also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Glendale AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several states do require that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those states mandating licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required also. So in addition to providing an outstanding education, the Glendale AZ school you choose should also furnish the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with 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 attained your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some support in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It could also signify that the school has a significant network of Glendale AZ area business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the schools you are evaluating and ask what kind of assistance they provide. Many of Glendale AZ area interior designer colleges provide financial assistance to their new students. Various schools offer partial scholarships while others provide help in acquiring federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Glendale AZ programs you are reviewing what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your home, go to the college and sit in on a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the Glendale AZ interior designer program you select provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends, verify that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Find the Ideal Interior Design Program near Glendale ArizonaSelecting the right interior designer program is a critical initial step toward launching your career in this creative and rewarding profession. Finding a college where you will obtain your training and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a daunting job no matter what major you have decided on. As with any undertaking to attain a higher education, there are several things to think about before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. But it is still imperative that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare schools so that you can make the right final selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer.
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