How to Choose the Right Interior Design College Pima 85543
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Pima AZ, it’s time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential interiors, it’s important that you get the proper training to put your skills to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it’s very important that you perform the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each college that you are reviewing prior to making your final selection. But just where do you begin? A number of future students will launch their research by looking for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are key factors when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into consideration also. We will address those topics and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But first, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class options are available.
Interior Decoration and Interior Design
Many people mistake interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The principal distinction 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. However, working as an interior designer requires a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make living or work spaces functional as well as attractive. On some occasions they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are two broad areas that an interior designer in Pima AZ can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers frequently focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.
There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, such as color schemes, lighting, 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 incorporating Feng shui concepts, Pima AZ interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
Interior Design Degree Programs
There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to receive the training necessary to launch your new career in Pima AZ. Your choice will undoubtedly be influenced by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, make certain to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in some states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum level of training needed to enter the field. They take about two years to complete and programs are available at a number of Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can typically obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that provide more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative aspects of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs provide advanced training in design after attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer alternatives in specialty majors in general areas such 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 university or college level. The programs vary in length but are generally completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work as a professional and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, many states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be needed before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Schools
For students who to attend classes in the convenience of their Pima AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design programs. Studying online can be a good alternative for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For many students online colleges may be the sole option if no interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Added costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated also. Just make certain that the school you choose is accredited by a respected 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 online or distance education. If you have the dedication to obtain your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the perfect alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Designer Schools
Now that you have decided on the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the college has to be within driving distance from your Pima AZ home. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will decrease your choices also. But choosing the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you need to look at also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a list of questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are looking at to get those answers as well as others to help you assess and ultimately select the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It’s essential to verify that the interior design program and college that you choose has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding 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 confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Pima AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do require that interior designers become 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 college. And in some of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required also. Therefore in addition to providing an outstanding education, the Pima AZ school you choose should also provide the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will no doubt need some support in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It might also indicate that the school has a significant network of Pima AZ business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Pima AZ schools you are looking at and find out what kind of assistance they offer. A number of interior design schools offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide support in obtaining grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college 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 larger, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Pima AZ programs you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Pima home, go to the campus and attend a couple of classes. While there speak with a few students and ask 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 Fit your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior design program you enroll in provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Pima AZ, make sure that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Enrolling in an Interior Design School near Pima AZ?
Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the Pima Arizona area. If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.
Pima County, Arizona
Pima County /ˈpiːmə/ is a county in the south central region of the U.S. state of Arizona. As of the 2010 census, the population was 980,263, making it Arizona's second-most populous county. The county seat is Tucson, where nearly all of the population is centered. The county is named after the Pima Native Americans who are indigenous to this area.
Pima County contains parts of the Tohono O'odham Nation, as well as all of the San Xavier Indian Reservation, the Pascua Yaqui Indian Reservation, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Ironwood Forest National Monument and Saguaro National Park.
The vast majority of the county population lies in and around the city of Tucson (2011 city population: 525,796), filling much of the eastern part of the county with urban development. Tucson, Arizona's second largest city, is a major commercial and academic center. Other urban areas include the Tucson suburbs of Oro Valley (population 41,335), Marana (population 35,232), Sahuarita (population 25,458), and South Tucson (population 5,695), a large ring of unincorporated urban development, and the growing satellite town Green Valley. The rest of the county is sparsely populated; the largest towns are Sells, the capital of the Tohono O'odham Nation, and Ajo in the county's far western region.
Find the Ideal Interior Design School near Pima AZ
Selecting the ideal interior designer program is an important first step toward starting your career in this artistic and fulfilling occupation. Finding a college where you will obtain your education and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a difficult job regardless of what field you have selected. As with any undertaking to attain a higher education, there are a number of things to consider before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the profession. You originally came upon this website because you had an initial interest in Going To School For Interior Design. But it is still essential that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly assess 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 reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Pima AZ.
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