How to Pick an Interior Design College near Mayer Arizona
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design college near Mayer AZ, it’s time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it’s important that you obtain the proper training to put your talents to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it’s very important that you do the appropriate research in order to assess and compare each school that you are looking at prior to making your final selection. But exactly where do you begin? Some prospective students will begin their research by looking for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are key variables when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation need to be considered as well. We will cover those topics and other crucial questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are reviewing 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 offered.
Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Often people mistake interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The main distinction between them is the level of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, working as an interior designer requires 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 educated to make work or living areas functional as well as attractive. On various occasions they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Mayer AZ may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any area of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When working on public or commercial areas, designers frequently focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.
There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, including color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui principles, Mayer AZ interior designers employ a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
Interior Designer Training Programs
There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to get the training needed to start your new career in Mayer AZ. Your selection 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 opt 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) exam required in several states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum level of training needed to enter the field. They take roughly 2 years to finish and programs are available at numerous 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 deliver more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative facets of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced training in design after achieving a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide options in specialty majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are largely for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work professionally and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be required before an applicant can take the licensing examination.
Interior Designer Online Classes
For those who wish to study in the convenience of their Mayer AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design programs. Studying online can be a good alternative for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For a number of students online programs may be the only alternative if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Added expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated also. Just make sure that the college you enroll in is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Interior Design Programs
Now 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 an important issue, especially if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your Mayer AZ residence. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will limit your options as well. But picking the most affordable school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you need to consider also, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Below are a list of questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are looking at to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you compare and subsequently pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It’s imperative to verify that the interior designer program and college that you enroll in has been accredited by either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just make sure that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Mayer AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the College Ready 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) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of occupational experience may be required also. So aside from providing an outstanding education, the Mayer AZ program you select should also provide the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some help in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It could also signify that the college has a significant network of Mayer AZ business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Mayer AZ schools you are evaluating and ask what type of support they offer. Many of interior design schools provide financial aid to their incoming students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide support in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Mayer AZ colleges you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Mayer home, visit the school and monitor 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 styles are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior design college you enroll in offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Mayer AZ, make certain that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Considering Attending Interior Design School in Mayer AZ?
Select the Ideal Interior Design School near Mayer AZ
Choosing the ideal interior designer college is an important initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and rewarding occupation. Searching for a college where you will obtain your education and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult job regardless of what major you have selected. As with any undertaking to acquire an advanced education, there are a number of things to think about before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. But it is still essential that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare schools so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Mayer AZ.
More Awesome Cities in Arizona
Business Results 1 - 10 of 11