How to Find the Right Interior Design Program Catalina 85738
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Catalina AZ, it’s time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential spaces, it’s essential that you obtain the appropriate training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s crucial that you perform the appropriate research in order to evaluate and compare each college that you are looking at before you make your ultimate decision. But exactly where do you start? Some prospective students will begin 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 only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation need to be considered as well. We will discuss those topics and other vital 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.
Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Many people confuse interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The key difference between the two is the amount of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer requires formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or living areas functional as well as attractive. On various occasions they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad areas that an interior designer in Catalina AZ may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers frequently focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized 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 needs to learn, such as 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 picking carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Catalina AZ interior designers employ a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
Interior Design Training Programs
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to obtain the training required to start your new career in Catalina AZ. Your choice 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 regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in some states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum level of training required to enter the field. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are offered at many Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that supply more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical aspects of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced design training after achieving a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide choices in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mainly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are generally completed in three to five years.
To work as a professional and use the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be required before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.
Online Interior Design Schools
For those who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their Catalina AZ homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Attending classes online can be a great option for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For some students online schools may be the sole option if no interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Added expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated also. Just be sure that the college you enroll in is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the dedication to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the perfect alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
Now that you have decided on the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the school needs to be within commuting distance from your Catalina AZ residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will limit your choices as well. But picking the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you need to look at as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the colleges you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others to help you examine and subsequently select the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It’s necessary to verify that the interior design school and program that you choose has been accredited by 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). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding evaluation 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 recognized accrediting agency. 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 obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Catalina AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States requiring licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required also. Therefore besides providing an excellent education, the Catalina AZ school you choose should also provide the proper education to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with 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 received your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some help in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It could also signify that the college has a sizable network of Catalina AZ business connections where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial aid departments for the Catalina AZ schools you are evaluating and find out what kind of assistance they offer. Many of interior design schools provide financial aid to their incoming students. Some schools provide partial scholarships while others provide support in securing federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Catalina AZ programs you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Catalina home, go to the college and sit in on a couple of classes. While there speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior designer program you select provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Catalina AZ, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Enrolling in an Interior Design School near Catalina AZ?
Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the Catalina Arizona area. If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.
Catalina is a census-designated place (CDP) in Pima County, Arizona, United States. The population was 7,025 at the 2000 census. Catalina continues to experience increasing population growth, while attempting to maintain its rural character. Catalina remains an unincorporated community, with no plans for annexation into any nearby towns.
As of the census of 2000, there were 7,025 people, 2,567 households, and 1,899 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 506.6 people per square mile (195.6/km²). There were 2,755 housing units at an average density of 198.7/sq mi (76.7/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 85.21% White, 0.54% Black or African American, 1.44% Native American, 0.40% Asian, 0.16% Pacific Islander, 9.71% from other races, and 2.55% from two or more races. 23.67% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 2,567 households out of which 33.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.2% were married couples living together, 10.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.0% were non-families. 20.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.67 and the average family size was 3.05.
Pick the Ideal Interior Design School near Catalina AZ
Picking the ideal interior designer school is a crucial first step toward starting your career in this artistic and rewarding occupation. Finding a school where you will receive your training and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a difficult job no matter what field you have decided on. As with any endeavor to attain a higher education, there are many factors to consider before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, check that the design college and program are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. You originally came upon this website because you had an initial interest in Interior Design Degrees. But it is still imperative that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design schools so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Catalina AZ.
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