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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Yuma AZ

How to Enroll in the Right Interior Design Course

Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design school near Yuma AZ, it's time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's important that you receive the right 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 exam also. So it's crucial that you do the appropriate research in order to analyze and compare each school that you are reviewing prior to making your final decision. But exactly where do you start? A number of prospective students will start their research by searching for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are key issues when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into account also. We will discuss those topics and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class choices are offered.

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Interior Design and Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Yuma AZ

Many people confuse interior design for interior decoration. The key difference between the two is the amount of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, doing business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make living or work spaces attractive as well as functional. On many occasions they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Yuma AZ may specialize in:

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

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

Interior Design Training Programs

There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to get the training necessary to launch your new career in Yuma AZ. Your decision will undoubtedly be driven by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, make certain to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in a number of states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum amount of training required to enter the field. They take roughly two years to complete and programs are offered at a number of Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can normally obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that furnish more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative aspects of the business required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced design training after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer options in specialized majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are mainly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are typically completed in three to five years.

To work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be called for before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.

Interior Designer Online Degree Programs

Yuma AZ student attending interior design school onlineFor students who wish to study in the comfort of their Yuma AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design degrees. Studying online can be a good 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 convenient for the student. For a number of students online colleges may be the sole alternative if no interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Additional costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the college you pick is accredited by a highly regarded 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 education. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the ideal option for you.

Questions to Ask Interior Design Colleges

After you have chosen the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of reviewing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the school needs to be within commuting distance from your Yuma AZ residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will decrease your choices as well. But picking the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you need to consider also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a list of questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are looking at to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you compare and subsequently pick the right degree program.

Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's imperative to make sure that the interior design school and program that you choose has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. 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 gone through a demanding evaluation 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 may also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Yuma Arizona employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.

Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States calling for licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore besides providing an exceptional education, the Yuma AZ school you enroll in should also furnish the proper education to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet 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 probably need some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It may also indicate that the college has a substantial network of Yuma AZ business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial aid offices for the Yuma AZ colleges you are evaluating and ask what type of assistance they offer. Many of interior designer colleges provide financial assistance to their new students. Various schools offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Yuma AZ colleges you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Yuma home, go to the campus and sit in on a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior design college you select provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Yuma AZ, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.

Enroll in the Right Interior Design School near Yuma Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Yuma ArizonaChoosing the ideal interior designer college is an important first step toward starting your career in this creative and gratifying profession. Finding a school where you will receive your training and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a challenging job no matter what field you have selected. As with any undertaking to receive a higher education, there are a number of factors to think about before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the field. However it is still imperative that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the right final selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Yuma Arizona.