Interior Designer Degree Program
How to Enroll in the Best One Near Marana Arizona
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near Marana AZ, it's time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's essential that you receive the right training to put your talents to work. And because interior designers are licensed in several states, the college you select should prepare you to pass any required licensing exam and provide the necessary training for your specialty. So it's crucial you carry out the appropriate research in order to evaluate and compare each program that you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate choice. But just where do you begin? When looking for interior design programs, the majority of students begin by zeroing in on those that are nearest to their homes with the lowest tuition. While location and cost are relevant variables when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation should be considered as well. We will cover those issues and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training options are offered.
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Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Often people confuse interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The primary distinction between them is the amount of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, doing business as an interior designer requires formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or living areas attractive as well as functional. On some occasions they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Marana AZ may 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 can specialize in designing one specific room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers frequently concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.
There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. They have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui concepts, Marana AZ interior designers implement a wide range of skills that help bring about their final creations.
Interior Design Degree Programs
There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to get the training required to start your new profession in Marana AZ. Your decision will no doubt be influenced by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, be 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 a number of states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum amount of training required to enter the profession. They take about two years to complete and programs are offered at many Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative components of the business required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced training in design after achieving a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer options in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are mostly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.
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 several instances, two or more years of field experience may be called for before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Designer Online Schools
For anyone wishing' to attend classes in the convenience of their Marana AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design programs. Attending classes online can be an excellent option for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For some students online schools may be the sole alternative if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Added expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the school you pick is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the discipline to obtain your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the ideal alternative for you.
What to Ask Interior Design Schools
After you have selected the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of analyzing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the school must be within driving distance from your Marana AZ residence. Naturally if you have decided on 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 selecting the cheapest school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you should consider also, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a list of questions that you may want to ask the programs you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and ultimately pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's necessary to confirm that the interior designer program and college that you enroll in has earned accreditation from 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 receiving 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 recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are outstanding, it may also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Marana AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do require that interior designers become 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 several of those States requiring licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required also. So besides furnishing an exceptional education, the Marana AZ college you select should also furnish the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements 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 design certification, you will no doubt want some support in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession and its students are sought after. It may also indicate that the college has a substantial network of Marana AZ business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial aid departments for the Marana AZ colleges you are reviewing and find out what kind of aid they offer. A number of interior designer programs offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Some schools offer partial scholarships and others provide help in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Marana AZ programs you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Marana home, visit the campus and attend a couple of classes. While there talk with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior designer school you select provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Marana AZ, verify that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Enroll in the Best Marana Interior Design College
Selecting the ideal interior design college is an important first step toward launching your career in this creative and fulfilling occupation. Finding a college where you will receive your training and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a difficult job no matter what field you have decided on. As with any endeavor to receive a higher education, there are several points to think about before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, verify that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the business. It is still imperative that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design schools so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Marana Arizona.