How to Choose the Right Interior Designer College Mesa 85201
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Mesa AZ, it’s time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors, it’s important 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 could need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s crucial that you perform the appropriate research in order to analyze and compare each program that you are looking at before you make your ultimate selection. But just where do you start? Many prospective students will start their research by searching for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are relevant issues when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation must be considered also. We will cover those issues and other crucial questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But before we do, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training options are offered.
Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration
Some people mistake interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The principal difference between the two is the amount of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. However, doing business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or living areas attractive as well as functional. On various occasions they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad areas that an interior designer in Mesa AZ may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers normally concentrate primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over looks as the main concern.
There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. 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 integrating Feng shui concepts, Mesa AZ interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final creations.
Interior Design Training Programs
There are four degree options available in interior design to receive the training needed to begin your new profession in Mesa AZ. Your selection will undoubtedly be motivated by your career objectives as well as the money and time that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, make sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in some states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum amount of training needed to enter the field. They take about two years to finish and programs are offered at many Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that supply more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative components of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced training in design after attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide options in specialty majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are primarily for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work as a professional and use the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be called for before an applicant can take the licensing examination.
Online Interior Designer Colleges
For individuals who wish to study in the comfort of their Mesa AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design degrees. Attending classes online can be an excellent alternative for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For some students online programs may be the only option if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Additional costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make certain that the school you enroll in is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Interior Designer Schools
After you have decided on the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the school needs to be within driving distance from your Mesa AZ home. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will limit your options as well. But choosing the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you should look at as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a few questions that you may want to address with the schools you are considering to get those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and ultimately select the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It’s essential to make sure 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 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 confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are outstanding, it might also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Mesa AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States requiring licensing, a minimum of 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. So aside from providing an exceptional education, the Mesa AZ program you choose should also furnish the suitable instruction 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 Program’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will probably need some support in finding your first position. Ask the schools 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 sign that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It may also signify that the college has a sizable network of Mesa AZ business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Available? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Mesa AZ schools you are evaluating and ask what type of assistance they offer. Many of interior designer programs provide financial aid to their new students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide support in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Mesa AZ schools you are considering what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Mesa home, go to the campus and attend a couple of classes. While there speak 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 Offered that Fit your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior design college you choose provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Mesa AZ, verify that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.
Enrolling in an Interior Design School near Mesa AZ?
Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the Mesa Arizona area. If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.
Mesa (/ˈmeɪsə/ MAY-sə) is a city in Maricopa County, in the U.S. state of Arizona. It is a suburb located about 20 miles (32 km) east of Phoenix. Mesa is the central city of the East Valley section of the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. It is bordered by Tempe on the west, the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community on the north, Chandler and Gilbert on the south along with Queen Creek, and Apache Junction on the east.
Mesa is the third-largest city in Arizona, after Phoenix and Tucson, and the 36th-largest city in the US. The city is home to 439,041 people as of 2010 according to the Census Bureau. Mesa is home to numerous higher education facilities including the Polytechnic campus of Arizona State University.
The history of Mesa dates back at least 2,000 years to the arrival of the Hohokam people. The Hohokam, whose name means "All Used Up" or "The Departed Ones", built the original canal system. The canals were the largest and most sophisticated in the prehistoric New World. Some were up to 90 feet (27 m) wide and 10 feet (3.0 m) deep at their head gates, extending for as far as 16 miles (26 km) across the desert. By A.D. 1100 water could be delivered to an area over 110,000 acres (450 km2), transforming the Sonoran Desert into an agricultural oasis. By A.D. 1450, the Hohokam had constructed hundreds of miles of canals many of which are still in use today.
Pick the Ideal Interior Design School near Mesa AZ
Choosing the right interior designer college is an important first step toward launching your career in this creative and gratifying occupation. Locating a college where you will obtain your education and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a difficult 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 think about before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. You originally came upon this website because you had an initial interest in Interior Design College Courses. However it is still essential that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design programs so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Mesa AZ.
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