Interior Designer Degree Program
How to Enroll in the Best One Near Fort Mohave Arizona
So it’s time to begin the process of selecting an interior design school near Fort Mohave AZ once you have made a career decision to study to be an interior designer. It's important that you get the best available training to put your skills to work, even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors. And because interior designers must be licensed in several states, the college you select should prepare you to pass any required licensing exam as well as provide the necessary training for your specialty. So in order to assess and compare each college you are considering prior to making your ultimate choice it's very important that you perform the proper due diligence. But exactly where do you begin? When checking out interior design programs, many potential students begin by zeroing in on those that are closest to their homes with the lowest tuition. While location and cost are important issues when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation should be considered also. We will cover those topics and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class choices are offered.
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Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Many people mistake interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The principal difference between the two is the amount of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, working as an interior designer requires formal training and in a number of 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 many occasions they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Fort Mohave AZ may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any room of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers normally focus primarily 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 focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the main concern.
There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, including color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui concepts, Fort Mohave AZ interior designers employ a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
Interior Design Degree Programs
There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to receive the training necessary to start your new profession in Fort Mohave AZ. Your selection will undoubtedly be motivated by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in some states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum amount of education required to enter the profession. They take about two years to complete and programs are available at many Arizona community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that supply more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical components of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These two year programs provide advanced training in design after acquiring a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer choices in specialty 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. Doctoral degrees are mainly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be required before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Classes
For anyone wishing' to attend classes in the convenience of their Fort Mohave AZ homes, there are accredited online interior design degrees. Studying online can be a great alternative for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For many students online colleges 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 traditional options. Additional costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make sure that the school you enroll in is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also acquire 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 ideal alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Designer Schools
Now that you have selected the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of analyzing your school options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the college has to be within commuting distance from your Fort Mohave AZ residence. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will decrease your options also. But selecting the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to home are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you should look at also, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a list of questions that you may want to ask the programs you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others to help you examine and subsequently pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's imperative to verify that the interior design program and school that you select has been accredited by either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive 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 recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are excellent, it might also help when applying for 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 employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prepare 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 in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States calling for licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to furnishing an outstanding education, the Fort Mohave AZ school you select should also furnish the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet 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 received your interior designer certification, you will probably want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It may also indicate that the school has a significant network of Fort Mohave AZ business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Fort Mohave AZ schools you are evaluating and ask what type of assistance they offer. A number of interior design colleges provide financial aid to their incoming students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide assistance in acquiring federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Fort Mohave AZ programs you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Fort Mohave home, visit the college and sit in on a couple of classes. While there talk with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior designer college you enroll in provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Fort Mohave AZ, confirm that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Enroll in the Best Fort Mohave Interior Design School
Selecting the right interior design school is a crucial first step toward launching your career in this artistic and fulfilling profession. Searching for a college where you will receive your training and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a daunting job regardless of what major you have selected. As with any endeavor to receive an advanced education, there are a number of points to think about before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. It is still important that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design schools so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Fort Mohave Arizona.