Interior Designer Degree
How to Pick the Best One Near Bullhead City Arizona
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design college near Bullhead City AZ, it's time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's important that you receive the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since interior designers are licensed in a number of states, the school you select should prep you to pass any required licensing test and provide the proper training for your specialty. So it's essential you do the appropriate research in order to evaluate and compare each college that you are considering before you make your final decision. But where do you begin? A number of prospective students will start their research by searching for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are relevant issues when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into account as well. We will address those topics and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But before we do, let's talk a little bit about the degree and training choices are available.
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Interior Design Degree Options
There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to obtain the training needed to start your new profession in Bullhead City AZ. Your selection will no doubt be influenced by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, make certain to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in a number of states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum amount of education required to enter the profession. They take approximately 2 years to finish and programs are offered at numerous Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that provide more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical components of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These two year programs supply advanced training in design after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialized majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are mainly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are generally completed in three to five years.
In order to work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be needed before an applicant can take the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Degree Programs
For anyone wishing' to attend classes in the comfort of their Bullhead City AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design classes. Studying online can be a good solution for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For some students online schools may be the sole alternative if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Added costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the program you pick is accredited by a respected accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also earn 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 setting, then an online interior design school may be the perfect option for you.
What to Ask Interior Design Colleges
Now that you have chosen the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of reviewing your school options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the college needs to be within driving distance from your Bullhead City AZ home. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will limit your options as well. But choosing the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to home are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you should 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 programs you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others to help you assess and ultimately select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's imperative to confirm that the interior designer program and college that you select has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous assessment of their instructors and programs. Just confirm 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 college and the quality of the training are outstanding, it might also help when securing 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 hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States mandating licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required also. So in addition to providing an excellent education, the Bullhead City AZ school you enroll in should also furnish the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will probably need some support in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It might also indicate that the college has a substantial network of Bullhead City AZ business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Bullhead City AZ colleges you are reviewing and ask what type of support they offer. A number of interior design colleges offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide support in acquiring grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Bullhead City AZ programs you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Bullhead City home, visit the college and attend a few classes. While there speak with some students and ask 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 Accommodate your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior designer college you select provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Bullhead City AZ, make sure that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Choose the Best Bullhead City Interior Design College
Selecting the ideal interior designer college is a crucial first step toward launching your career in this artistic and rewarding occupation. Searching for a school where you will obtain your training and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a challenging job no matter what major you have chosen. As with any undertaking to acquire an advanced education, there are several factors to think about before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, confirm that the design college and program are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. It is still imperative that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Bullhead City Arizona.