Interior Designer School
How to Find the Best One Near Mesa Arizona
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design school near Mesa AZ, it's time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's essential that you obtain the proper training to put your skills to work. And since interior designers must be licensed in several states, the college you choose should prepare you to pass any required licensing test as well as provide the necessary training for your specialty. So in order to assess and compare each school you are looking at before you make your final decision it's very important that you perform the appropriate research. But where do you start? When checking out interior design programs, many potential students begin by zeroing in on those that are nearest to their homes with the lowest tuition. While location and cost are important variables when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. There are several other factors that you should weigh when reviewing schools, for instance reputation and accreditation. We will address those topics and other important questions that you should be asking 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 class options are offered.
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Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Often people mistake interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The key distinction between them is the amount of training required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. However, conducting business 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 taught to make work or residential spaces attractive as well as functional. On various occasions they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are two broad areas that an interior designer in Mesa AZ can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any room of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public areas, designers often focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the primary concern.
There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, such as lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers have 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, Mesa AZ interior designers implement a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
Interior Design Degrees
There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to get the training necessary to launch your new profession in Mesa AZ. Your selection will undoubtedly be motivated by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, be sure 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 discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum level of education required to enter the field. They take roughly two years to finish and programs are available at many Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can usually obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that supply more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative components of the business 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 two year programs provide advanced design training after achieving the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives in specialized majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to enhance 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 degree programs differ in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be required before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.
Online Interior Designer Courses
For anyone wishing' to study in the comfort of their Mesa AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design degrees. Attending classes online can be a good option for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For some students online schools may be the only alternative if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Added expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the school you select is accredited by a respected 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 online or distance education. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Design Programs
Now that you have decided on the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of analyzing your school options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the campus has to be within driving distance from your Mesa 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 expense for tuition will decrease your options as well. But picking the cheapest school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you should look at also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a list of questions that you may want to address with the schools you are considering to get those answers in addition to others to help you examine and subsequently select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's imperative to verify that the interior design program and college that you choose has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding assessment of their instructors and programs. Just confirm 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 excellent, it might also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Mesa AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do require 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 college. And in some of those States calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore besides furnishing an outstanding education, the Mesa AZ college you select should also provide the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be working.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will probably need some help in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It may also indicate that the school has a significant network of Mesa AZ business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Mesa AZ schools you are evaluating and ask what type of assistance they offer. Many of interior designer colleges provide financial aid to their new students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide support in acquiring grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Mesa AZ schools you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Mesa home, go to the school and monitor a few 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 Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior design college you choose provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Mesa AZ, confirm that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Mesa Interior Design School
Selecting the ideal interior designer school is a crucial first step toward launching your career in this artistic and fulfilling occupation. Finding a college where you will obtain your training and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a difficult job no matter what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to acquire a higher education, there are several things to think about before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the design college and program are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. It is still essential that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design programs so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Mesa Arizona.