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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Mesa AZ

How to Choose the Right Interior Designer Course

Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer school near Mesa AZ, it's time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's essential that you obtain the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it's essential that you do the proper research in order to evaluate and compare each program that you are considering prior to making your ultimate choice. But exactly where do you begin? A number of prospective students will begin their research by looking for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are relevant factors when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into account as well. We will discuss those issues and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training options are offered.

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Interior Design and Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Mesa AZ

Often people confuse interior decoration for interior design. The main difference between them is the level of training required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or residential areas functional as well as attractive. On some projects they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad areas that an interior designer in Mesa AZ may specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any room of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers frequently focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.

There are numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui principles, Mesa Arizona interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
 

Interior Designer Degree Options

There are four degree options available in interior design to obtain the training required to launch your new career in Mesa AZ. Your decision will undoubtedly be driven by your career objectives as well as the money and time that you have to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to choose 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 covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum amount of training needed to enter the field. They take approximately 2 years to complete and programs are available at numerous Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that supply more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative aspects of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs supply advanced training in design after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialty majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are primarily for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.

To work as a professional 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 sit for the licensing exam.

Why Train to Become an Interior Designer?

Mesa AZ student attending interior design school onlineThere are many options available to you once you graduate and enter the field of interior design.  If you’ve got an entrepreneurial spirit you may become self-employed and open your own interior design shop. You might also work for a small or larger design firm. Designers have careers creating interiors for businesses, hospitals, government buildings, as well as private residences. Rarely is a design career a 9 to 5 job. You’ll need to be flexible, patient, and persistent to get your career off the ground. But you will have the opportunity to earn an attractive income as well as the personal satisfaction of creating beautiful living and working spaces.

Subjects to Ask Interior Design Programs

When you have chosen the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of evaluating your college options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your Mesa AZ residence. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will narrow down your options also. But selecting the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to home are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other things that you need to consider as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a few concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are considering to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and subsequently select the right degree program.

Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's essential to confirm that the interior designer school and program that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive assessment of their teachers and programs. Just verify that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are outstanding, it might also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Mesa Arizona employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.

Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore aside from furnishing an outstanding education, the Mesa AZ program you choose should also furnish the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be working.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will no doubt need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It may also signify that the school has a significant network of Mesa AZ business connections where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Available? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Mesa AZ schools you are reviewing and find out what kind of support they provide. A number of interior designer programs provide financial aid to their incoming students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide help in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Big are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Mesa AZ programs you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Mesa home, visit the campus and sit in on a few classes. While there speak with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior design school you choose provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Mesa AZ, confirm that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.

Choose the Right Interior Design College near Mesa Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Mesa ArizonaPicking the ideal interior designer college is a crucial initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and fulfilling occupation. Finding a school where you will obtain your training and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult task regardless of what field you have selected. As with any undertaking to acquire an advanced education, there are a number of factors to consider before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, make sure that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the business. However it is still imperative that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design programs so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Mesa Arizona.