Interior Designer Program
How to Find the Best One Near Marana Arizona
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design school near Marana AZ, it's time to start the process of selecting a school. It's imperative that you get the appropriate training to put your skills to work, even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors. And since some states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So in order to evaluate and compare each college you are looking at before you make your ultimate decision it's essential that you perform the proper research. But just how do you go about finding the right program? Many prospective students will launch their research by searching for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. But keep in mind, a school is not always the best option simply because it has the lowest tuition or is located closest to your home. There are various other considerations that you should evaluate when comparing schools, such as reputation and accreditation. We will address those topics and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at 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 choices are offered.
IT TAKES JUST A FEW MINUTES TO START YOUR INTERIOR DESIGN CAREER BELOW!
Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Often people confuse interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The principal distinction between them is the amount of training 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 requires formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or living spaces functional as well as attractive. On various occasions they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Marana AZ may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers normally focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.
There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui principles, Marana AZ interior designers employ a wide range of skills that contribute to their final creations.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to receive the training required to begin your new career in Marana AZ. Your choice will no doubt be influenced by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in a number of states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum amount of training needed to enter the field. They take roughly 2 years to finish and programs are available at numerous Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical facets of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These two year programs supply advanced design training after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives in specialty 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. Doctorate programs are mostly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are generally completed in three to five years.
In order to work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be called for before a candidate can take the licensing exam.
Online Interior Design Degree Programs
For individuals who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their Marana AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design colleges. Attending classes online can be a great option for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For some students online colleges may be the sole option if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Added expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated also. Just make sure that the school you choose is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the right alternative for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Programs
After you have chosen the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of assessing your college options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the campus must be within commuting distance from your Marana AZ home. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will narrow down your options also. But picking the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to home are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you should look at as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Below are a few concerns that you may want to address with the colleges you are considering to get those answers as well as others to help you examine and subsequently pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's imperative to verify that the interior designer school and program that you select has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. 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 undergone a demanding assessment of their programs and instructors. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Marana AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several 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 school. And in several of those States calling for licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required also. So aside from furnishing an outstanding education, the Marana AZ college you enroll in should also provide the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some support in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are looking at 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 college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design profession and its students are sought after. It could also signify that the school has a significant network of Marana AZ business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Marana AZ schools you are reviewing and ask what kind of assistance they provide. Many of interior designer schools provide financial aid to their new students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide support in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Marana AZ colleges you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Marana home, visit the campus and sit in on 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 approaches are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior design college you select provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Marana AZ, make certain that those classes are offered. 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 procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Best Marana Interior Design College
Selecting the ideal interior designer program is a critical initial step toward launching your career in this creative and fulfilling profession. Locating a college where you will receive your training and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a daunting job no matter what field you have selected. As with any undertaking to acquire a higher education, there are many things to think about before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. It is still imperative that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Marana Arizona.