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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Yuma AZ

How to Pick the Right Interior Design Degree Program

Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer college near Yuma AZ, it's time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's imperative that you get the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's essential that you perform the proper research so that you can analyze and compare each school that you are considering prior to making your final selection. But just where do you begin? Some potential students will launch their research by looking for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are key variables 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 discuss those topics and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class choices are offered.

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Interior Design vs Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Yuma AZ

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

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently 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, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers frequently focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces 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 several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, such as lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui principles, Yuma Arizona interior designers implement a wide range of skills that help bring about their final creations.
 

Interior Designer Degrees

There are four degree options available in interior design to receive the training needed to begin your new career in Yuma AZ. Your selection will no doubt be influenced by your career objectives 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 pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in a number of states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum level of training needed to enter the profession. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are offered at a number of Arizona community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that provide more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical components of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced training in design after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer options in specialized majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are primarily for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary in length but are generally completed in 3 to 5 years.

To work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be required before a candidate can take the licensing exam.

Questions to Ask Interior Design Colleges

Yuma Arizona interior designer bathroomNow that you have decided on the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of reviewing your college options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your Yuma AZ home. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will limit your choices also. But picking the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other things that you need to consider also, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a list of questions that you may want to ask the schools you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you assess and ultimately select the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's important to confirm that the interior design program and school that you choose 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 confirm that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are outstanding, it may also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Yuma Arizona employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.

Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore in addition to providing an outstanding education, the Yuma AZ school you select should also provide the proper training 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 Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will probably 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 higher rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession 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 secure internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Yuma AZ colleges you are reviewing and find out what type of assistance they offer. A number of interior designer programs offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Some schools provide partial scholarships and others provide support in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Yuma AZ programs you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Yuma home, go to the college and attend a few classes. While there speak with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior designer school you enroll in provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Yuma AZ, verify that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative as well. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.

Choose the Best Interior Design School near Yuma Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Yuma ArizonaPicking the ideal interior designer college is a critical first step toward launching your career in this creative and rewarding occupation. Finding a college where you will receive your training and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a challenging job no matter what major you have chosen. As with any undertaking to receive an advanced education, there are a number of factors to consider before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. However it is still imperative that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design programs so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Yuma Arizona.