Interior Designer College
How to Select the Best One Near Lake Havasu City Arizona
So it’s time to begin the process of selecting an interior design school near Lake Havasu City AZ once you have made a career decision to become an interior designer. It's important that you get the best available training to develop your skills, even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential interiors. And since several states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So in order to assess and compare each school you are looking at prior to making your final selection it's very important that you perform the appropriate due diligence. But just how do you undertake enrolling in the right school? When looking for interior design programs, the majority of students start by targeting those that are closest to their homes with the lowest tuition. While location and cost are relevant variables when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into account also. We will address those issues and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But before we do, let's talk a little bit about the degree and training alternatives are offered.
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Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are four degree options offered in interior design to get the training needed to launch your new profession in Lake Havasu City AZ. Your choice will undoubtedly be driven by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in some states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum amount of education required to enter the field. They take roughly two years to complete and programs are offered at a number of Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can usually obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that supply more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative facets of the business required to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced training in design after achieving the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide alternatives in specialized 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 the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are largely for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are normally completed in three to five years.
To work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be required before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.
Online Interior Design Degree Programs
For those who wish to study in the convenience of their Lake Havasu City AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design programs. Attending classes online can be a good solution for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For a number of students online colleges may be the only option if no interior design programs are within driving 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 decreased 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 colleges may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the dedication to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the ideal alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Design Schools
Once you have chosen the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of reviewing your college options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the college has to be within commuting distance from your Lake Havasu City AZ home. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will decrease your choices as well. But selecting the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you need to look at as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a few concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others to help you examine and subsequently choose the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the interior designer program and school that you choose has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive assessment of their programs and teachers. Just verify that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Lake Havasu City AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the College 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) exam as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States calling for licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from furnishing an excellent education, the Lake Havasu City AZ school you select should also provide the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum requirements for licensing 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 colleges that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession and its students are sought after. It could also indicate that the college has a sizable network of Lake Havasu City AZ business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Lake Havasu City AZ colleges you are looking at and find out what type of support they offer. Many of interior designer schools offer financial aid to their incoming students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide support in obtaining federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Lake Havasu City AZ programs you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Lake Havasu City home, go to the campus and sit in on a few classes. While there speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior design college you enroll in offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Lake Havasu City AZ, make sure that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Enroll in the Best Lake Havasu City Interior Design School
Choosing the right interior designer program is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and gratifying profession. Locating a school where you will obtain your education and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a daunting job regardless of what field you have selected. As with any endeavor to acquire an advanced education, there are a number of factors to think about before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, verify that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the business. It is still important that you complete your due diligence research. 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 programs so that you can make the right final selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Lake Havasu City Arizona.