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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Yuma AZ

How to Enroll in the Best Interior Design College

Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer degree program 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 right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's essential that you do the appropriate research so that you can analyze and compare each program that you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection. But exactly where do you begin? A number of potential students will begin their research by searching for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are important factors when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into account also. We will address those topics and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But first, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training choices are offered.

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Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Yuma AZ

Often people confuse interior design for interior decoration. The key difference between the two is the level of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, working as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make living or work areas functional as well as attractive. On some occasions they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are two broad 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 room of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers frequently focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.

There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui concepts, Yuma Arizona interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
 

Interior Design Training Programs

There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to acquire the training necessary to begin your new career in Yuma AZ. Your selection will undoubtedly be motivated by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in several states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum level of training needed to enter the profession. They take approximately 2 years to complete and programs are available at numerous Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical components of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest credential 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 design training after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide 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 degrees are primarily for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are generally completed in three to five years.

In order to work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be required before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.

Topics to Ask Interior Design Colleges

Yuma Arizona interior designer bathroomAfter you have chosen the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of assessing your college options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the college must be within commuting distance from your Yuma AZ residence. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will narrow down your options as well. But picking the most affordable college or the one that is closest to home are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you need to consider also, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a few concerns that you may want to address with the colleges you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and ultimately choose the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's necessary to confirm that the interior designer program and college that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment of their programs and instructors. 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 school and the quality of the training are exceptional, it might also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Yuma Arizona employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.

Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several 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 program. And in some of those States mandating licensing, at least 2 years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore aside from providing an exceptional education, the Yuma AZ school you choose should also provide the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be working.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will no doubt need some support in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It could also signify that the college has a sizable network of Yuma AZ business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Yuma AZ colleges you are looking at and ask what kind of aid they provide. Many of interior design colleges offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Various schools offer partial scholarships while others provide assistance in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Yuma AZ schools you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Yuma home, go to the school and monitor a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior design college you select offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Yuma AZ, make certain that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Enroll in the Right Interior Design School near Yuma Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Yuma ArizonaSelecting the right interior design school is a critical first step toward starting your career in this creative and gratifying occupation. Finding a college where you will obtain your education and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a challenging job no matter what field you have selected. As with any endeavor to acquire an advanced education, there are a number of things to think about before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, verify that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the field. However it is still important that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design schools so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Yuma Arizona.