How to Find an Interior Designer Course near Goodyear Arizona
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Goodyear AZ, it’s time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential spaces, it’s imperative that you receive the appropriate training to put your talents to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it’s very important that you carry out the appropriate research in order to analyze and compare each school that you are reviewing before you make your final choice. But just where do you start? Many potential students will begin their research by looking for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are relevant issues when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation must be considered as well. We will discuss those topics and other crucial 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 more about what interior design is and what degree and training options are available.
Interior Decoration and Interior Design
Many people mistake interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The primary distinction between them is the level of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator in Goodyear AZ if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, conducting business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make living or work spaces functional as well as attractive. On various occasions they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers in Goodyear AZ frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any room of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial spaces, Goodyear AZ designers frequently focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.
There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design in Goodyear AZ that a designer must learn, such as lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui concepts, interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
Interior Design Degree Options
There are four degree options available in interior design to acquire the training needed to launch your new profession. Your choice 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 no matter which degree program you choose 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) exam mandated in some states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available near Goodyear AZ.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum amount of education needed to enter the field. They take approximately 2 years to finish and programs are offered at a number of Goodyear AZ area vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that deliver more comprehensive 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 college graduate in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced design training after achieving the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer 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 their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are largely for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are generally 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 colleges become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be required before a candidate can take the licensing exam.
Online Interior Design Degree Programs
For individuals who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their homes, there are accredited online interior design degrees. Attending classes online can be an excellent solution for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For some students online colleges may be the sole option if no Goodyear AZ area interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the college you select is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, 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 education. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the ideal alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Design Schools
When you have chosen the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of evaluating your Goodyear AZ area school options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the college has to be within driving distance from your home. Naturally if you have decided on attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will decrease your options also. But selecting the most affordable school or the one that is closest to home are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you should look at also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are looking at to get those answers as well as others to help you assess and ultimately select the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It’s essential to verify that the interior designer college and program that you enroll in has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive 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 recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it may also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Goodyear AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of states do mandate that interior designers become 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 college. And in some of those states mandating licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from furnishing an excellent education, the Goodyear AZ program you select should also provide the suitable training 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 College’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some help in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its students are sought after. It may also signify that the college has a substantial network of Goodyear AZ area business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the colleges you are looking at and ask what kind of assistance they provide. Many of Goodyear AZ area interior designer programs provide financial aid to their incoming students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in obtaining federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Goodyear AZ programs you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your home, go to the college and monitor a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and ask 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 Fit your Schedule? Finally, verify that the Goodyear AZ interior designer program you enroll in offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends, verify that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Pick the Best Interior Design School near Goodyear ArizonaPicking the right interior designer college is a critical first step toward launching your career in this artistic and fulfilling profession. Finding a college where you will obtain your training and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a challenging task regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any undertaking to attain an advanced education, there are several points to consider before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. But it is still imperative that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare schools so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer.
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