Interior Designer Degree Program
How to Choose the Best One Near Kingman Arizona
So it’s time to begin the process of picking an interior design school near Kingman AZ now that you have made a career decision to study to be an interior designer. It's imperative that you get the best available training to develop your skills, even if you have always had a knack for designing commercial or residential interiors. And since interior designers must be licensed in several states, the college you choose should prep you to pass any required licensing exam as well as provide the necessary training for your specialty. So in order to analyze and compare each school you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision it's very important that you do the proper due diligence. But where do you start? When checking out interior design schools, many potential students begin by targeting the ones that are nearest to their homes with the lowest tuition. However, a school is not always the best option simply because it happens to have a campus near your home or is lower in cost. There are many other considerations that you should evaluate when reviewing schools, such as reputation and accreditation. We will discuss those issues and other crucial questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class alternatives are available.
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Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Often people confuse interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The primary distinction between them is the level of training required. Anyone 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 formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or residential areas attractive as well as functional. On various projects they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Kingman AZ can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any room of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers frequently focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.
There are numerous areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, including color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. They must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Kingman AZ interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
Interior Designer Degree Options
There are four degree options offered in interior design to obtain the training required to start your new career in Kingman AZ. Your selection will undoubtedly be motivated by your career goals in addition to 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 required in several states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum level of education required to enter the field. They take about 2 years to finish and programs are offered at many Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can normally obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that provide more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative aspects of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These two year programs supply advanced training in design after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialized majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mainly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are typically completed in three to five years.
In order to work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be called for before a candidate can take the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Degree Programs
For students who to study in the comfort of their Kingman AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design colleges. Attending classes online can be an excellent option 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 home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For many students online schools may be the only option if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional 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 choose is accredited by a respected accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the dedication to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the right option for you.
What to Ask Interior Design Colleges
Now that you have selected the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of evaluating your college options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the school has to be within commuting distance from your Kingman AZ residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will narrow down your options as well. But selecting the most affordable school or the one that is closest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you need to look at as well, 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 looking at to get those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and ultimately select the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's essential to confirm that the interior designer program and school that you enroll in has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding evaluation of their teachers 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 establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are outstanding, it may also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Kingman AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States requiring licensing, a minimum of 2 years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore besides furnishing an excellent education, the Kingman AZ program you enroll in should also provide the proper training to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out 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 trade and its graduates are in demand. It could also indicate that the college has a substantial network of Kingman AZ business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial aid departments for the Kingman AZ colleges you are looking at and ask what kind of support they provide. A number of interior design schools provide financial aid to their incoming students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in acquiring grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Kingman AZ colleges you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Kingman home, visit the campus and monitor a few classes. While there talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior designer school you enroll in offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Kingman AZ, confirm that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Right Kingman Interior Design School
Selecting the ideal interior design college is a critical first step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding occupation. Locating a college where you will receive your education and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a difficult job no matter what major you have selected. As with any undertaking to acquire an advanced education, there are several points to think about before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, check that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the profession. It is still important that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Kingman Arizona.