Interior Designer School
How to Pick the Right One Near Kingman Arizona
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design degree program near Kingman AZ, it's time to start the process of picking a school. It's imperative that you get the best available training to develop your skills, even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors. And because interior designers must be licensed in a number of states, the school 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 analyze and compare each school you are looking at prior to making your final selection it's essential that you carry out the proper due diligence. But exactly where do you start? Many prospective students will start their research by searching for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are key factors when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. There are various other qualifications that you should evaluate when reviewing schools, for instance accreditation and reputation. We will cover those topics and other crucial 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 class choices are offered.
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Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Often people mistake interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The key difference between them is the amount of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. However, doing business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or residential areas functional as well as attractive. On some occasions they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Kingman AZ can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any room of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial areas, designers often focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.
There are numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui principles, Kingman AZ interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
Interior Design Degrees
There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to obtain the training required to start your new career in Kingman AZ. Your choice will no doubt be driven by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, make certain to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in several states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum amount of education required to enter the profession. They take roughly 2 years to finish and programs are available at a number of Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can normally obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that deliver more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical aspects of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest 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 provide advanced design training after acquiring the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives in specialized majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are mostly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited schools 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 Designer Online Degree Programs
For anyone wishing' to study in the convenience of their Kingman AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design programs. Attending classes online can be a great solution for those students that are employed 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 some students online schools may be the sole alternative if no interior design schools are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Added expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the college you choose is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, 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 online or distance 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 Designer Schools
Once you have chosen the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of analyzing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the college must be within driving distance from your Kingman AZ home. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will limit 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 factors that you need to consider also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a few concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are looking at to obtain those answers as well as others to help you compare and ultimately pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's imperative to make sure that the interior design program and school that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just confirm that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are exceptional, it might also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Kingman AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do mandate that interior designers become 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 several of those States calling for licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required also. So besides furnishing an outstanding education, the Kingman AZ college you select should also furnish the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be working.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will probably need some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It could also indicate that the college has a substantial network of Kingman AZ business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Kingman AZ schools you are evaluating and ask what kind of assistance they offer. Many of interior design programs provide financial assistance to their new students. Some schools offer partial scholarships and others provide support in acquiring federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Kingman AZ colleges you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Kingman home, visit the campus and sit in on a few classes. Take the opportunity to 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 Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior design program you select offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Kingman AZ, make sure that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an option as well. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.
Choose the Best Kingman Interior Design School
Selecting the right interior designer school is an important first step toward launching your career in this artistic and fulfilling occupation. Locating a college where you will receive your education and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting task regardless of what major you have decided on. As with any endeavor to receive a higher education, there are several things to think about before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, make sure that the design college and program are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. It is still important that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the right final selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Kingman Arizona.