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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Yuma AZ

How to Select the Right Interior Designer Course

Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design school near Yuma AZ, it's time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's important that you obtain the proper training to put your skills to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it's vital that you do the appropriate research so that you can analyze and compare each program that you are reviewing before you make your ultimate selection. But where do you start? A number of prospective students will kick off their research by looking for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are important issues when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation need to be taken into consideration also. We will cover those issues and other crucial questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are available.

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Interior Design vs Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Yuma AZ

Often people mistake interior design for interior decoration. The principal difference between the two is the level of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer necessitates formal training 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 residential areas functional as well as attractive. On some occasions they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Yuma AZ may specialize in:

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

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

Interior Design Degrees

There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to receive the training required to begin your new profession in Yuma AZ. Your selection will no doubt be influenced by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, make certain to choose 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. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum level of training needed to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to finish and programs are available at a number of Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that supply more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical facets of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced design training after achieving a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives in specialized majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are largely 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.

In order to work as a professional and use 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 needed before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.

Why Study to Become an Interior Designer?

Yuma 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 Schools

When you have selected the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of assessing your college options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the school needs to be within driving distance from your Yuma AZ residence. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will narrow down your choices also. But picking the most affordable school or the one that is closest to your house are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you need to consider also, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you examine and ultimately choose the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's essential to verify that the interior designer school and program that you choose has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive assessment of their programs and instructors. Just verify 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 might also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Yuma Arizona employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.

Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States requiring licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required also. So besides providing an exceptional education, the Yuma AZ school you choose should also furnish the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some support in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its students are sought after. It might also signify that the school has a significant network of Yuma AZ business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial aid departments for the Yuma AZ colleges you are evaluating and ask what type of assistance they offer. A number of interior design schools provide financial aid to their new students. Certain schools offer partial scholarships and others provide support in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.

How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Yuma AZ programs you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Yuma home, go to the college and monitor a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk 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 Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior designer college you select provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Yuma AZ, confirm that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Choose the Best Interior Design School near Yuma Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Yuma ArizonaSelecting the right interior designer college is an important first step toward starting your career in this artistic and fulfilling profession. Finding a college where you will obtain your education and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a challenging task no matter what field you have chosen. As with any endeavor to attain a higher education, there are a number of points to think about before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the field. But it is still essential that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design schools so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Yuma Arizona.