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How to Find the Right Interior Designer School near Golden Valley Arizona

Golden Valley Arizona interior designed living room with entertainment centerNow that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer school near Golden Valley 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 interiors, it's important that you receive the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it's vital that you perform the appropriate research in order to analyze and compare each college that you are reviewing before you make your ultimate selection. But where do you begin? A number of future students will launch their research by looking for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are key issues when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into consideration also. We will cover those issues and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But before we do, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are offered.

Interior Design vs Interior Decoration

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Often people confuse interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The principal difference between the two is the amount of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or residential spaces attractive as well as functional. On some occasions they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad areas that an interior designer in Golden Valley AZ can specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any room of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public areas, designers frequently focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.

There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, such as lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui concepts, Golden Valley AZ interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.

Interior Design Degrees

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There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to receive the training required to launch your new career in Golden Valley AZ. Your selection will no doubt be influenced by your career objectives as well as the money and time that you have to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, make certain to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in some states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum level of training needed to enter the profession. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are available at many Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can typically obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that provide more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative components 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 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 improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mainly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are normally completed in three to five years.

To work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be required before a candidate can take the licensing examination.

Interior Design Online Programs

For students who to attend classes in the comfort of their Golden Valley AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design schools. Studying online can be a great option for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For many students online programs may be the only option if no interior design colleges are within driving 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 as well. Just make certain that the college you select is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the right alternative for you.

Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Programs

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Once you have decided on the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of reviewing your school options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the school needs to be within driving distance from your Golden Valley AZ residence. Naturally if you have decided on attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will decrease your choices as well. But picking the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to home are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you should look at also, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a few concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are looking at to get those answers as well as others to help you assess and ultimately pick the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's essential to confirm that the interior designer college and program that you enroll in 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 receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding assessment 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 organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Golden Valley AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.

Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several 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 calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required as well. So besides providing an outstanding education, the Golden Valley AZ college you choose should also furnish the proper education to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be working.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some support in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It might also indicate that the college has a substantial network of Golden Valley AZ business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Golden Valley AZ schools you are evaluating and find out what type of support they provide. Many of interior design schools offer financial assistance to their new students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Golden Valley AZ schools you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Golden Valley home, go to the campus and monitor a few classes. While there speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior designer college you choose offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Golden Valley AZ, verify that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option also. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Learn More About Online Interior Design Courses

Enroll in the Right Golden Valley Interior Design School

Choosing the ideal interior design program is a crucial initial step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding profession. Finding a college where you will obtain your training and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting job no matter what field you have decided on. As with any endeavor to acquire a higher education, there are a number of factors to consider before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, check that the design college and program are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. But it is still imperative that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design schools so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Golden Valley Arizona.