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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Yuma AZ

How to Find the Best Interior Design Degree Program

Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design school near Yuma AZ, it's time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's essential that you get the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do require that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it's vital that you do the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each school that you are reviewing before you make your ultimate choice. But where do you begin? Many prospective students will start their research by looking for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are important variables when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into consideration as well. We will discuss those issues and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are reviewing 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 available.

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Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Yuma AZ

Some people mistake interior design for interior decoration. The key distinction between the two is the amount of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, conducting business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or residential areas attractive as well as functional. On various projects they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Yuma AZ can specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers often 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 instance bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers often focus predominantly 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 focus more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.

There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, including color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Yuma Arizona interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
 

Interior Designer Degree Programs

There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to obtain the training necessary to start your new profession in Yuma AZ. Your selection will undoubtedly be influenced by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide 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 several states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum level of education needed to enter the field. They take about 2 years to finish and programs are available at many Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that supply more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative facets of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced design training after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialized majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are primarily for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.

In order 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 field experience may be called for before a candidate can take 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.

Topics to Ask Interior Designer Schools

Once you have chosen the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of assessing your college options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the college must be within driving distance from your Yuma AZ home. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will limit your options also. But picking the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to home are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you need to consider also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are considering to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and ultimately pick the right degree program.

Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's important to confirm that the interior designer program and school that you choose has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding 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 training are excellent, it may also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Yuma Arizona employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.

Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do mandate that interior designers get 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 college. And in several of those States mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. So aside from providing an outstanding education, the Yuma AZ school you select should also provide the appropriate 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 School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some help in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It may also signify that the school has a sizable network of Yuma AZ business connections where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Yuma AZ colleges you are evaluating and ask what kind of support they offer. Many of interior design schools offer financial aid to their incoming students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide support in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.

How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Yuma AZ schools you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Yuma home, visit the college and sit in on 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 Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior designer program you enroll in provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Yuma AZ, verify that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Enroll in the Best Interior Design College near Yuma Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Yuma ArizonaChoosing the ideal interior design school is a crucial first step toward launching your career in this artistic and fulfilling occupation. Searching for a school where you will obtain your training and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a challenging task no matter what field you have decided on. As with any endeavor to receive an advanced education, there are a number of factors to consider before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the field. However it is still important that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design programs so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Yuma Arizona.