Interior Designer Degree
How to Enroll in the Best One Near Fort Mohave Arizona
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design college near Fort Mohave AZ, it's time to start the process of choosing a school. It's important that you get the appropriate training to put your skills to work, even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors. And since some states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So in order to assess and compare each program you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection it's crucial that you perform the proper due diligence. But where do you start? When looking for interior design schools, the majority of students start by zeroing in on the ones that are nearest to their homes with the lowest tuition. While location and cost are relevant variables when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. There are various other considerations that you should weigh when comparing schools, for instance reputation and accreditation. We will discuss those issues and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are interested in 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 options are available.
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Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Some people mistake interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The key difference between the two is the level of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, doing business 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 educated to make living or work areas functional as well as attractive. On many occasions they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad areas that an interior designer in Fort Mohave AZ can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers frequently focus predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.
There are numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui concepts, Fort Mohave AZ interior designers employ a wide range of skills that contribute to their final creations.
Interior Design Degrees
There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to obtain the training required to begin your new career in Fort Mohave AZ. Your choice will no doubt be driven by your career objectives as well as the money and time that you have to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain 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 covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum level of education needed to enter the profession. They take about two years to finish and programs are offered at a number of Arizona community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative aspects of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced design training after acquiring the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives in specialized majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are mainly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be needed before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Colleges
For those who wish to study in the convenience of their Fort Mohave AZ homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Attending classes online can be an excellent solution for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For many students online programs may be the sole alternative if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated also. Just make certain that the school you select is accredited by a respected accrediting organization, 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 education. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Design Colleges
After you have selected the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of analyzing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the campus must be within driving distance from your Fort Mohave AZ residence. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But choosing the cheapest college or the one that is closest to home are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other things that you need to look at also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a few concerns that you may want to address with the colleges you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and subsequently choose the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's necessary to make sure that the interior designer program and college that you select has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding evaluation 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 verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are outstanding, it might also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Fort Mohave AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prepare 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 in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States mandating licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to providing an exceptional education, the Fort Mohave AZ program you enroll in should also furnish 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? Once you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will no doubt need some help in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It could also signify that the school has a large network of Fort Mohave AZ business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Fort Mohave AZ schools you are evaluating and find out what kind of support they provide. Many of interior designer programs offer financial assistance to their new students. Various schools provide partial scholarships and others provide help in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Fort Mohave AZ programs you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Fort Mohave home, go to the campus and attend 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 credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior design school you select offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Fort Mohave AZ, make certain 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, check what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Choose the Right Fort Mohave Interior Design School
Choosing the right interior designer school is an important initial step toward launching your career in this creative and rewarding profession. Searching for a school where you will receive your education and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a difficult job regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to receive a higher education, there are several points to think about before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, check that the design college and program are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. It is still imperative 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 effectively review and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Fort Mohave Arizona.