Interior Designer Degree
How to Pick the Right One Near Lake Havasu City Arizona
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near Lake Havasu City AZ, it's time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's imperative that you receive the appropriate training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So in order to evaluate and compare each program you are looking at before you make your ultimate choice it's vital that you do the proper due diligence. But just how do you undertake enrolling in the right school? A number of future students will begin their research by looking for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are relevant variables when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. There are a number of other qualifications that you should weigh when reviewing schools, for instance reputation and accreditation. We will address those issues 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 offered.
IT TAKES JUST A FEW MINUTES TO START YOUR INTERIOR DESIGN CAREER BELOW!
Interior Design Compared to Interior Decoration
Some people mistake interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The principal distinction between the two is the amount of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, working 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 taught to make work or residential spaces attractive as well as functional. On many projects they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Lake Havasu City AZ can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers normally concentrate predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For instance, 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 appearance as the primary concern.
There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, including color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui concepts, Lake Havasu City AZ interior designers employ a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
Interior Design Degree Options
There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to obtain the training needed to launch your new career in Lake Havasu City AZ. Your selection will no doubt be motivated by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make certain to pick 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 benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum level of training required to enter the field. They take roughly 2 years to finish and programs are offered at numerous Arizona community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can usually obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that deliver more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical components of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These two year programs provide advanced design training after achieving the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer choices in specialized majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are primarily for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are typically completed in three to five years.
To work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be needed before a candidate can take the licensing exam.
Online Interior Design Colleges
For those who wish to study in the convenience of their Lake Havasu City AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design colleges. Attending classes online can be an excellent solution for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For some students online colleges 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. Additional costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated also. Just be sure that the college you pick is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the perfect option for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Design Schools
When you have selected the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of reviewing your college options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your Lake Havasu City 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 qualification. The fee for tuition will decrease your options also. But choosing the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you should look at as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a few concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you examine and subsequently pick the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's necessary to confirm that the interior design program and school that you enroll in has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just verify 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 school and the quality of the education are outstanding, it might also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Lake Havasu City AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States mandating licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. So besides providing an excellent education, the Lake Havasu City AZ college you select should also furnish the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination 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? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will no doubt need some support in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are looking at 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 college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It may also indicate that the college has a sizable network of Lake Havasu City AZ business connections where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Available? Contact the financial aid departments for the Lake Havasu City AZ colleges you are looking at and find out what kind of assistance they provide. Many of interior design programs offer financial aid to their new students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Lake Havasu City AZ schools you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Lake Havasu City home, visit the campus and sit in on a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few 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 Fit your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior designer college you enroll in offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Lake Havasu City AZ, verify that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.
Find Out More About Studying to Become an Interior Designer in Lake Havasu City
Choose the Best Lake Havasu City Interior Design School
Selecting the ideal interior designer school is a crucial first step toward launching your career in this creative and rewarding occupation. Finding a school where you will obtain your training and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a daunting job no matter what field you have selected. As with any undertaking to acquire an advanced education, there are several points to consider before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, confirm that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the business. It is still important that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design programs so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Lake Havasu City Arizona.
Lake Havasu City Interior Design Colleges | Lake Havasu City Interior Design Classes