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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Yuma AZ

How to Find the Best Interior Designer School

Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Yuma AZ, it's time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's imperative that you receive the right training to put your skills to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's essential that you do the proper research so that you can assess and compare each college that you are reviewing before you make your final decision. But just where do you begin? A number of potential students will start their research by looking for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are important issues when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into consideration also. We will cover those topics and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are researching 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 choices are available.

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Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Yuma AZ

Often people mistake interior design for interior decoration. The primary difference between them is the amount of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, working as an interior designer requires formal training and in a number of 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 various occasions they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Yuma AZ can specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Designing. When working on public or commercial areas, designers frequently concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the main consideration.

There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers must 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, Yuma Arizona interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
 

Interior Design Degree Options

There are four degree options available in interior design to get the training required to launch your new profession in Yuma AZ. Your decision will no doubt be motivated by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in several states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum level of education required to enter the profession. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are available at numerous Arizona community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative components of the business required to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced design training after achieving the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are primarily for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college 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", many states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.

Topics to Ask Interior Design Programs

Yuma Arizona interior designer bathroomNow that you have chosen the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the task of reviewing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your Yuma AZ residence. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will narrow down your options also. But selecting the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you need to consider as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others to help you examine and subsequently select the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's necessary to verify that the interior designer school and program that you choose has earned accreditation from 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 earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment of their instructors and programs. Just confirm 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 exceptional, it may also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Yuma Arizona employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.

Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States requiring licensing, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from furnishing an exceptional education, the Yuma AZ college you choose should also provide the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some help in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It could also indicate that the school has a sizable network of Yuma AZ business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Yuma AZ colleges you are evaluating and ask what kind of assistance they offer. Many of interior design schools provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide help in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.

How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Yuma AZ schools you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Yuma home, go to the college and sit in on a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and find out 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 Fit your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior design school you enroll in provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Yuma AZ, confirm that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.

Choose the Best Interior Designer Program near Yuma Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Yuma ArizonaChoosing the ideal interior design college is a critical first step toward starting your career in this creative and gratifying profession. Locating a college where you will receive your education and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a difficult job regardless of what major you have decided on. As with any endeavor to receive a higher education, there are several points to think about before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the field. However it is still imperative that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design schools so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Yuma Arizona.