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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Bullhead City AZ

How to Select the Best Interior Design School

Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer college near Bullhead City AZ, it's time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's essential that you get the right training to put your skills to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's vital that you carry out the proper research in order to evaluate and compare each school that you are looking at before you make your ultimate selection. But just where do you begin? Many potential students will launch their research by searching for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are relevant variables when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation must be taken into account as well. We will address those topics and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are researching 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 options are offered.

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Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design

interior designed living room in Bullhead City AZ

Some people confuse interior decoration for interior design. The principal difference between the two is the amount of education 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, doing business as an interior designer requires formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make living or work areas attractive as well as functional. On many occasions they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Bullhead City AZ may specialize in:

  • Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers frequently focus predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the primary concern.

There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, such as color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui principles, Bullhead City Arizona interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
 

Interior Designer Degree Programs

There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to acquire the training necessary to begin your new profession in Bullhead City AZ. Your decision will undoubtedly be motivated by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in some states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short 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 profession. They take roughly 2 years to finish and programs are offered at many Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can typically obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that supply more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative facets of the trade needed 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 offer alternatives in specialty majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are primarily for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are generally completed in three to five years.

To work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be called for before a candidate can take the licensing examination.

Online Interior Design Colleges

Bullhead City AZ student attending interior design school onlineFor anyone wishing to study in the comfort of their Bullhead City AZ homes, there are accredited online interior design schools. Attending classes online can be a good alternative for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For many students online programs may be the only option if no interior design schools are within driving 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 as well. Just be sure that the program you enroll in is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the discipline to obtain your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the right option for you.

Subjects to Ask Interior Design Programs

Now that you have decided on the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of reviewing your college options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the college needs to be within commuting distance from your Bullhead City AZ home. Of course 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 expense for tuition will limit your choices also. But choosing the most affordable college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you should look at as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you assess and subsequently pick the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's necessary to confirm that the interior design program and college that you enroll in has been accredited by 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 a rigorous assessment of their programs and instructors. Just confirm 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 training are exceptional, it may also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Bullhead City Arizona employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.

Does the School Prepare 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 college. And in some of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore aside from providing an outstanding education, the Bullhead City AZ school you select should also furnish the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some support in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It may also indicate that the school has a sizable network of Bullhead City AZ business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Bullhead City AZ colleges you are evaluating and find out what type of assistance they provide. A number of interior design colleges offer financial aid to their incoming students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide help in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its counterparts 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 may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Bullhead City AZ programs you are considering what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Bullhead City home, visit the school and attend 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 approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior designer program you choose provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Bullhead City AZ, make sure that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.

Choose the Right Interior Design College near Bullhead City Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Bullhead City ArizonaChoosing the ideal interior design college is an important initial step toward starting your career in this creative and fulfilling occupation. Searching for a college where you will receive your education and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a challenging task regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any undertaking to acquire an advanced education, there are several things to consider before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. But it is still imperative 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 assess and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Bullhead City Arizona.