Interior Designer Course
How to Select the Right One Near Catalina Foothills Arizona
So it’s time to start the task of choosing an interior design school near Catalina Foothills AZ once you have made a career choice to study to be an interior designer. It's important that you get the appropriate training to develop your skills, even if you have always had a knack for designing commercial or residential interiors. And since interior designers must be licensed in several states, the college you choose should prepare you to pass any required licensing exam and provide the proper training for your specialty. So in order to evaluate and compare each program you are considering before you make your final decision it's crucial that you carry out the appropriate due diligence. But just how do you go about finding the right program? Many future students will kick off their research by searching for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are important variables when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. There are many other considerations that you should weigh when comparing schools, for example accreditation and reputation. We will address those issues and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But before we do, let's talk a little bit about the degree and class choices are offered.
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Interior Designer Degrees
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to receive the training required to begin your new career in Catalina Foothills AZ. Your choice will undoubtedly be influenced by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in a number of states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum amount of education required to enter the field. They take about two years to finish and programs are available at a number of Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can normally obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that provide more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical aspects of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced training in design after achieving a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer choices in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are primarily for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The 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", many states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be called for before a candidate can take the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Colleges
For individuals who wish to study in the comfort of their Catalina Foothills AZ homes, there are accredited online interior design schools. Attending classes online can be a good solution for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For a number of students online programs may be the only alternative if no interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Added costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the program you enroll in is accredited by a respected accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the dedication to obtain your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the right alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Design Colleges
After you have selected the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of assessing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the campus has to be within driving distance from your Catalina Foothills AZ home. Naturally if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will decrease your options also. But choosing the cheapest school or the one that is closest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you should consider also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a few questions that you may want to ask the schools you are looking at to get those answers as well as others to help you assess and subsequently choose the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's essential to confirm that the interior designer school and program that you enroll in has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive assessment of their programs and teachers. 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 establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are excellent, it may also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Catalina Foothills AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, 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 as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required also. So in addition to furnishing an exceptional education, the Catalina Foothills AZ program you enroll in should also furnish the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be working.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will probably need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, 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 esteem within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It could also indicate that the college has a sizable network of Catalina Foothills AZ business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Catalina Foothills AZ colleges you are evaluating and find out what kind of assistance they offer. A number of interior designer programs provide financial aid to their new students. Some schools provide partial scholarships and others provide support in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Catalina Foothills AZ colleges you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Catalina Foothills home, go to the college and sit in on a few classes. While there speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior designer program you select provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Catalina Foothills AZ, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Learn More About How to Become an Interior Designer in Catalina Foothills
Enroll in the Best Catalina Foothills Interior Design School
Picking the ideal interior designer school is a critical first step toward starting your career in this artistic and gratifying occupation. Locating a school where you will obtain your training and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a daunting job regardless of what field you have decided on. As with any undertaking to receive an advanced education, there are several things to think about before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, check that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the field. It is still imperative that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design programs so that you can make the right final selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Catalina Foothills Arizona.
Catalina Foothills Interior Design Schools | Catalina Foothills Interior Design Programs