Interior Designer School
How to Choose 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 now that you have made a career decision to study to be an interior designer. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's important that you get the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And because interior designers are licensed in a number of states, the school you select should prep you to pass any required licensing exam and provide the proper training for your specialty. So it's crucial you perform the proper research in order to analyze and compare each program that you are considering before you make your final selection. But where do you start? Many future students will launch their research by looking for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are key issues when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. There are a number of other qualifications that you should evaluate when comparing schools, for instance reputation and accreditation. We will discuss those topics and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are available.
IT TAKES JUST A FEW MINUTES TO START YOUR INTERIOR DESIGN CAREER BELOW!
Interior Design Compared to Interior Decoration
Many people confuse interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The main difference between them is the level of education required. Anyone 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, doing business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or living areas functional as well as attractive. On some projects they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Catalina Foothills AZ may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any room of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers often focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.
There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, including color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. They must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui principles, Catalina Foothills AZ interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to acquire the training needed to begin your new profession in Catalina Foothills AZ. Your choice will undoubtedly be driven by your career objectives in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure to choose 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 brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum amount of education required to enter the field. They take approximately 2 years to finish and programs are available at a number of Arizona community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can typically obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that deliver more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative aspects of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree 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 in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are largely for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are typically completed in three to five years.
In order to work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be called for before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.
Online Interior Designer Degree Programs
For anyone wishing' to study in the comfort of their Catalina Foothills AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design classes. Attending classes online can be a great 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 convenient for the student. For some students online colleges may be the only option if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Added expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased 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 programs may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the discipline to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the ideal alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
After you have decided on the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of reviewing your school options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your Catalina Foothills AZ home. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will decrease your options also. But picking the most affordable college or the one that is closest to home are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you need to look at also, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a few questions that you may want to ask the schools you are reviewing to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and subsequently select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's necessary to make sure that the interior design college and program that you choose has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just make sure 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 education are outstanding, it may also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Catalina Foothills AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to furnishing an exceptional education, the Catalina Foothills AZ college you choose should also provide the proper education to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be working.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will probably want some support in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It could also signify that the school has a large network of Catalina Foothills AZ business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Catalina Foothills AZ colleges you are reviewing and find out what kind of assistance they offer. A number of interior design programs offer financial aid to their new students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in securing federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Catalina Foothills AZ colleges you are reviewing what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Catalina Foothills home, go to the college and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few 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 Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior design program you select offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Catalina Foothills AZ, confirm that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Find Out More About Becoming an Interior Designer in Catalina Foothills
Choose the Right Catalina Foothills Interior Design College
Picking the right interior design college is a critical initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and gratifying profession. Searching for a school where you will obtain your training and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a challenging task regardless of what major you have selected. As with any endeavor to acquire an advanced education, there are several things to consider before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. It is still important that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design programs so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Catalina Foothills Arizona.
Catalina Foothills Interior Design Colleges | Catalina Foothills Interior Design Classes