How to Select an Interior Designer College near Mayer Arizona
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design school near Mayer 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 interiors, it’s imperative that you get the appropriate training to put your skills to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it’s very important that you do the proper research in order to assess and compare each program that you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection. But just where do you begin? Some potential students will launch their research by searching for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are key factors when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into account as well. We will cover those topics and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But before we do, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class options are available.
Interior Decoration and Interior Design
Some people confuse interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The key difference between them is the amount of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator in Mayer AZ if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, doing business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or residential areas attractive as well as functional. On many occasions they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are two broad areas that an interior designer may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers in Mayer AZ typically 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 particular room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public areas, Mayer AZ designers normally concentrate predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.
There are numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design in Mayer AZ that a designer needs to learn, for example lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They 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 including Feng shui concepts, interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final creations.
Interior Design Degrees
There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to obtain the training necessary to begin your new profession. Your decision will undoubtedly be driven by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, make sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in several states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available near Mayer AZ.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum amount of education needed to enter the profession. They take about two years to complete and programs are available at many Mayer AZ area community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can usually obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical components of the business needed to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs supply advanced training in design after acquiring a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide alternatives in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mostly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are generally completed in three to five years.
In order to work as a professional and use the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be needed before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.
Interior Designer Online Classes
For individuals who wish to study in the comfort of their homes, there are accredited online interior design degrees. Attending classes online can be an excellent solution for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For some students online programs may be the sole option if no Mayer AZ area interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Added costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated also. Just make certain that the school you pick is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the perfect alternative for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Design Schools
When you have chosen the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of assessing your Mayer AZ area school options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your residence. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will decrease your options as well. But picking the cheapest college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other things that you should consider as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Below are a list of questions that you may want to ask the programs you are looking at to get those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and subsequently pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It’s imperative to make sure that the interior design school and program that you choose has been accredited by either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just make sure that both the college and the degree program 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 aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Mayer AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several states do require 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 college. And in some of those states calling for licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required also. So in addition to furnishing an exceptional education, the Mayer AZ program you choose should also furnish the proper education to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be employed.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some support in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It might also indicate that the college has a sizable network of Mayer AZ area business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the colleges you are reviewing and ask what kind of aid they offer. A number of Mayer AZ area interior designer programs offer financial aid to their new students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide support in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Mayer AZ colleges you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your home, go to the school and attend 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 backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, verify that the Mayer AZ interior designer college you enroll in provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends, make certain that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Enroll in the Best Interior Design College near Mayer ArizonaPicking the right interior design college is an important first step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding profession. Finding a college where you will receive your training and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a difficult job regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to acquire an advanced education, there are a number of factors to think about before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. But it is still important that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare colleges so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer.
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