Interior Designer School
How to Choose the Right One Near Bullhead City Arizona
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near Bullhead City AZ, it's time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's essential that you receive 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 examination as well. So in order to assess and compare each school you are reviewing before you make your ultimate decision it's very important that you carry out the appropriate research. But just where do you begin? When looking for interior design programs, the majority of students start by zeroing in on those that are nearest to their homes with the lowest tuition. However, a school is not always the right option just because it happens to have a campus near your home or is lower in cost. There are various other factors that you should evaluate when comparing schools, such as reputation and accreditation. We will address those topics and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But before we do, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training options are available.
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Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Many people mistake interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The principal difference between them is the amount of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, working as an interior designer necessitates 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 educated to make work or living areas attractive as well as functional. On some projects they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Bullhead City AZ can 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, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers frequently concentrate predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.
There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, for example lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui concepts, Bullhead City AZ interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final creations.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are four degree options offered in interior design to get the training needed to start your new career in Bullhead City AZ. Your decision will no doubt be influenced by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, be sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in a number of states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum level of training needed to enter the profession. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are offered at many Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative aspects of the trade needed 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 2 year programs supply advanced design training after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide alternatives in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are mainly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be called for before a candidate can take the licensing exam.
Online Interior Design Courses
For anyone wishing' to study in the convenience of their Bullhead City AZ homes, there are accredited online interior design schools. Studying online can be a good alternative for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For some students online colleges may be the sole alternative if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Additional costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the program you pick is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the perfect option for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Design Colleges
Once you have selected the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of analyzing your college options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the college needs to be within commuting distance from your Bullhead City AZ residence. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will narrow down your options as well. But choosing the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to home are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you should consider also, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a list of questions that you may want to address with the programs you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and subsequently choose the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's necessary to confirm that the interior designer school and program that you enroll in has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous evaluation of their programs and teachers. Just confirm 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 verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are outstanding, it might also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Bullhead City AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States mandating licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to furnishing an outstanding education, the Bullhead City AZ college you enroll in should also furnish the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be working.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some help in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It might also indicate that the college has a substantial network of Bullhead City AZ business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Bullhead City AZ schools you are reviewing and ask what type of support they offer. A number of interior designer schools provide financial aid to their new students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships and others provide support in acquiring grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Bullhead City AZ schools you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Bullhead City home, visit the college and sit in on a couple of classes. While there speak with some 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 Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior designer college you enroll in 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 Bullhead City AZ, confirm that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Choose the Best Bullhead City Interior Design School
Choosing the right interior designer program is an important initial step toward launching your career in this creative and rewarding occupation. Locating a college where you will receive your education and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult job no matter what field you have chosen. As with any undertaking to acquire a higher education, there are several factors to consider before choosing a school, program, or course. At a minimum, check that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. It is still imperative that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design programs so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Bullhead City Arizona.