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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Marana AZ

How to Pick the Best Interior Design Degree Program

Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Marana AZ, it's time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's important that you obtain the proper training to put your skills to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it's vital that you do the appropriate research in order to assess and compare each school that you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection. But where do you start? A number of future students will kick off their research by searching for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are relevant variables when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into account also. We will address those issues and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But before we do, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class alternatives are available.

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Interior Decoration and Interior Design

interior designed living room in Marana AZ

Many people confuse interior decoration for interior design. The main difference between the two is the level of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, working as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or residential areas functional as well as attractive. On some projects they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are two broad categories that an interior designer in Marana AZ can specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any room of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public areas, designers frequently concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary concern.

There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, including color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui principles, Marana Arizona interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
 

Interior Design Degree Options

There are four degree options available in interior design to receive the training required to begin your new career in Marana AZ. Your selection will no doubt be driven by your career objectives as well as the money and time that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, make sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is required 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. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum amount of training required to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to finish and programs are offered at numerous Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can typically obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that provide more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical components of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level position 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 alternatives in specialty majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to enhance 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 degree programs differ in length but are generally completed in three to five 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 field experience may be called for before an applicant can take the licensing examination.

Why Study to Become an Interior Designer?

Marana AZ student attending interior design school onlineThere are many options available to you once you graduate and enter the field of interior design.  If you’ve got an entrepreneurial spirit you may become self-employed and open your own interior design shop. You might also work for a small or larger design firm. Designers have careers creating interiors for businesses, hospitals, government buildings, as well as private residences. Rarely is a design career a 9 to 5 job. You’ll need to be flexible, patient, and persistent to get your career off the ground. But you will have the opportunity to earn an attractive income as well as the personal satisfaction of creating beautiful living and working spaces.

Questions to Ask Interior Design Colleges

After you have decided on the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of evaluating your school options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the college has to be within commuting distance from your Marana AZ home. Naturally if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will limit your choices as well. But choosing the cheapest school or the one that is closest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you should look at as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a few concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others to help you examine and subsequently choose the right degree program.

Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's necessary to verify that the interior designer school and program that you choose has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive assessment of their instructors and programs. Just verify 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 establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it may also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Marana Arizona employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.

Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do mandate 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 program. And in several of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore besides providing an excellent education, the Marana AZ school you select should also provide the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be working.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will no doubt need some support in finding your first job. 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 college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It might also indicate that the school has a large network of Marana AZ business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Marana AZ schools you are reviewing and find out what kind of support they offer. Many of interior design schools offer financial assistance to their new students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide support in securing grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Small are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Marana AZ colleges you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Marana home, go to the school and monitor a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior design college you select provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Marana AZ, confirm that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.

Enroll in the Right Interior Designer Program near Marana Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Marana ArizonaPicking the ideal interior designer school is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding profession. Finding a school where you will receive your education and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a daunting job no matter what field you have decided on. As with any endeavor to acquire a higher education, there are many points to think about before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the field. However it is still imperative that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Marana Arizona.