Interior Designer Degree Program
How to Choose the Right One Near Kingman Arizona
So it’s time to start the process of selecting an interior design school near Kingman AZ once you have made a career decision to become an interior designer. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's essential that you get the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since interior designers are 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 assess and compare each college you are looking at before you make your final selection it's crucial that you do the proper research. But exactly where do you begin? Some potential students will begin their research by looking for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are key variables when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation should be considered also. We will address those topics and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But before we do, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are available.
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Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Some people confuse interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The main difference between the two 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 areas. However, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in numerous 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 attractive as well as functional. On many projects they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are two broad categories that an interior designer in Kingman AZ may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any room of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial areas, designers often concentrate predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over looks as the main concern.
There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui principles, Kingman AZ interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are four degree options available in interior design to get the training needed to begin your new career in Kingman AZ. Your choice will undoubtedly be influenced by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt 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 mandated in some states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum amount of training required to enter the profession. They take about two years to finish and programs are offered at a number of Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative components of the business required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These two year programs provide advanced design training after acquiring the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialty majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are largely for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be needed before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Designer Online Courses
For students who to attend classes in the convenience of their Kingman AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design schools. Studying online can be an excellent option for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For a number of students online schools may be the only option if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Additional expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated also. Just be sure that the school you pick is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also obtain 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 structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the ideal alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Designer Schools
When you have chosen the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of reviewing your college options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the college must be within driving distance from your Kingman AZ home. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will limit your choices as well. But picking the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you need to consider as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a few concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are looking at to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and ultimately select the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's essential to confirm that the interior design school and program that you choose has been accredited by 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). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous assessment of their teachers and programs. Just make sure 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 school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Kingman AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do mandate 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 college. And in some of those States calling for licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required as well. So aside from furnishing an excellent education, the Kingman AZ program you select should also provide the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be working.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will probably need some support in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It may also signify that the school has a substantial network of Kingman AZ business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Contact the financial aid offices for the Kingman AZ colleges you are evaluating and find out what kind of aid they offer. Many of interior designer schools provide financial aid to their incoming students. Various schools provide partial scholarships and others provide support in securing grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Kingman AZ programs you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Kingman home, visit the school and sit in on a couple of classes. While there talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior designer school you select offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Kingman AZ, make certain that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Enroll in the Best Kingman Interior Design College
Picking the ideal interior design school is a critical first step toward launching your career in this creative and fulfilling occupation. Searching for a college where you will receive your education and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a difficult task regardless of what major you have decided on. As with any undertaking to receive a higher education, there are several points to consider before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, check that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the field. It is still important that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design schools 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 Kingman Arizona.