Home >> Arizona >> Catalina Foothills >> Interior Design Classes


Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Catalina Foothills AZ

How to Find the Best Interior Design Program

Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer school near Catalina Foothills AZ, it's time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's imperative that you obtain the right training to put your skills to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's crucial that you carry out the appropriate research so that you can analyze and compare each school that you are looking at before you make your ultimate choice. But where do you begin? A number of prospective students will begin their research by searching for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are important issues when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation must be taken into account also. We will cover those topics and other important questions that you should be asking 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 choices are offered.

Start Your Interior Design Career By Requesting Free Info on Local Schools Below

Interior Decoration and Interior Design

interior designed living room in Catalina Foothills AZ

Often people mistake interior design for interior decoration. The main difference between the two is the level of training required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education 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 living or work areas functional as well as attractive. On many occasions they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad areas that an interior designer in Catalina Foothills 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, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial areas, designers often focus predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might concentrate more on functionality over looks as the main concern.

There are numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, including lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui principles, Catalina Foothills Arizona interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final creations.
 

Interior Designer Training Programs

There are 4 degree options available in interior design to acquire the training needed to launch your new career in Catalina Foothills AZ. Your choice will no doubt be driven by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in some states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum amount of training needed to enter the profession. They take approximately 2 years to finish and programs are offered at numerous Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can typically obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that supply more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative facets of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced design training after achieving the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide alternatives in specialized majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are primarily for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary in length but are usually completed in three to five years.

In order to work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be needed before a candidate can take the licensing examination.

Interior Designer Online Classes

Catalina Foothills AZ student attending interior design school onlineFor anyone wishing to study in the convenience of their Catalina Foothills AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design colleges. Studying online can be an excellent solution for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For many students online colleges may be the sole option if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Added expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the school you choose is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also acquire 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 structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the ideal option for you.

Subjects to Ask Interior Design Schools

Once you have decided on the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the task of analyzing your college options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the school needs to be within commuting distance from your Catalina Foothills AZ residence. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will limit your options as well. But picking the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you need to consider also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a few concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are considering to get those answers in addition to others to help you assess and ultimately choose the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's important to make sure that the interior design program and college that you select has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive evaluation of their programs and teachers. Just verify that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are excellent, it may also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Catalina Foothills Arizona employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.

Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do require 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 school. And in several of those States calling for licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. So aside from furnishing an excellent education, the Catalina Foothills AZ program you select should also furnish the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be working.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some support in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It could also signify that the school has a substantial network of Catalina Foothills AZ business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial aid departments for the Catalina Foothills AZ schools you are reviewing and find out what type of aid they provide. Many of interior designer schools provide financial assistance to their new students. Certain schools offer partial scholarships while others provide help in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Small are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Catalina Foothills AZ colleges you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Catalina Foothills home, visit the campus and monitor a few classes. While there talk 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 Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior designer program you enroll in provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Catalina Foothills AZ, verify that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Choose the Right Interior Design School near Catalina Foothills Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Catalina Foothills ArizonaPicking the ideal interior designer school is an important initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and fulfilling occupation. Searching for a college where you will obtain your education and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a challenging task regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any undertaking to receive an advanced education, there are a number of factors to think about before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. However it is still important that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Catalina Foothills Arizona.