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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Marana AZ

How to Pick the Right Interior Designer Program

Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Marana AZ, it's time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's important that you obtain the proper training to put your skills to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's vital that you carry out the proper research so that you can analyze and compare each program that you are reviewing prior to making your final decision. But where do you start? Some future students will start their research by searching for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are relevant issues when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation need to be considered as well. We will discuss those issues and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are interested in 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.

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Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design

interior designed living room in Marana AZ

Some people confuse interior decoration for interior design. The key difference between them is the level of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, 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 and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make living or work spaces functional as well as attractive. On many occasions they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Marana AZ may specialize in:

  • Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any room of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers frequently focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.

There are numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui principles, Marana Arizona interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that contribute to their final creations.
 

Interior Design Training Programs

There are four degree options available in interior design to acquire the training needed to start your new career in Marana AZ. Your selection will no doubt be influenced by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in several states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum level of education needed to enter the field. They take approximately 2 years to complete and programs are available at many Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level employment 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 components of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced design training after achieving a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives in specialty majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mostly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are generally completed in 3 to 5 years.

To work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be called for before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.

Questions to Ask Interior Designer Schools

Marana Arizona interior designer bathroomNow that you have selected the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of analyzing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the school needs to be within driving distance from your Marana AZ home. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will narrow down your options also. But selecting the most affordable school or the one that is closest to home are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you should consider also, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a list of questions that you may want to address with the programs you are reviewing to get those answers in addition to others to help you examine and ultimately choose the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's necessary to confirm that the interior designer college and program 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 an extensive assessment of their teachers and programs. Just verify that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are excellent, it may also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Marana Arizona employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.

Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would require 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 mandating licensing, at least 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from furnishing an exceptional education, the Marana AZ school you enroll in should also furnish the proper 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 earned your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some help in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its students are sought after. It might also indicate that the school has a significant network of Marana AZ business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Marana AZ schools you are evaluating and find out what type of aid they provide. A number of interior design programs provide financial aid to their incoming students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide assistance in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Big are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Marana AZ colleges you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Marana home, go to the campus and sit in on a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior design school you select offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Marana AZ, make sure that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.

Choose the Best Interior Designer College near Marana Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Marana ArizonaSelecting the right interior design school is a crucial initial step toward launching your career in this creative and rewarding profession. Finding a school where you will receive your education and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a challenging job no matter what major you have decided on. As with any undertaking to attain a higher education, there are many points to consider before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design college are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. However it is still important that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Marana Arizona.