Interior Designer College
How to Enroll in the Best One Near Marana Arizona
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design degree program near Marana AZ, it's time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's imperative that you receive the appropriate training to put your talents to work. And because interior designers must be 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 in order to evaluate and compare each school you are reviewing before you make your ultimate decision it's vital that you carry out the proper due diligence. But just how do you undertake finding the right program? When looking for interior design programs, the majority of students start by targeting the ones that are nearest to their homes with the lowest tuition. However, a school is not always the best choice simply because it has the lowest tuition or is located closest to your home. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into account also. We will address those topics and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But before we do, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are offered.
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Interior Design Compared to Interior Decoration
Some people mistake interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The primary difference between the two is the level of education required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, working as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or living spaces attractive as well as functional. On some occasions they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad areas that an interior designer in Marana AZ can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers normally concentrate predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.
There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui principles, Marana AZ interior designers employ a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
Interior Designer Degrees
There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to receive the training needed to start your new profession in Marana AZ. Your selection will undoubtedly be motivated by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt 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) examination mandated in some states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum amount of education needed to enter the profession. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are offered at a number of Arizona community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can typically 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 deal with the creative and technical facets of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced design training after acquiring the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives in specialized 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 programs are primarily for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are typically 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 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 students who to study in the comfort of their Marana AZ homes, there are accredited online interior design colleges. Studying online can be an excellent option for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For a number of students online programs may be the sole alternative if no interior design schools are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Additional costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated also. Just make sure that the program you pick is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, 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 distance or online education. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the ideal alternative for you.
What to Ask Interior Design Colleges
When you have decided on the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of evaluating your school options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the school needs to be within commuting distance from your Marana AZ residence. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will narrow down your options also. But selecting the most affordable school or the one that is closest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you should look at as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others to help you examine and subsequently pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's important to confirm that the interior designer school and program that you select has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding assessment 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 college and the quality of the training are outstanding, it may also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Marana AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from providing an exceptional education, the Marana AZ program you enroll in should also provide the appropriate instruction 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? After you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will no doubt need some help in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It might also signify that the college has a large network of Marana AZ business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Marana AZ schools you are evaluating and ask what kind of assistance they offer. Many of interior designer colleges offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide support in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.
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 little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Marana AZ schools you are reviewing what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Marana home, go to the college and attend 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 philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior design program you select offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Marana AZ, make certain that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Learn More About Becoming an Interior Designer in Marana
Enroll in the Right Marana Interior Design College
Choosing the right interior designer college is a critical first step toward launching your career in this artistic and fulfilling occupation. Finding a school where you will obtain your education and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult job regardless of what field you have selected. As with any undertaking to acquire an advanced education, there are several factors to think about before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, make sure that the design college and program are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. It is still essential that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design programs so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Marana Arizona.
Marana Interior Design Programs | Marana Interior Design Courses