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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Bullhead City AZ

How to Find the Right Interior Designer College

Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Bullhead City AZ, it's time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's important that you get the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it's crucial that you do the proper research so that you can assess and compare each program that you are reviewing before you make your ultimate choice. But just where do you begin? A number of prospective students will begin their research by looking for interior design courses near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are key issues when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation must be taken into consideration as well. We will cover those issues and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training choices are offered.

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Interior Design and Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Bullhead City AZ

Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design. The main distinction between the two is the amount of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, conducting 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 trained to make living or work spaces 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 Bullhead City AZ may specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers often focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.

There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, for example color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui concepts, Bullhead City Arizona interior designers employ a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
 

Interior Design Degree Options

There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to acquire the training necessary to start your new profession in Bullhead City AZ. Your decision will undoubtedly be influenced by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, be sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in some states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum level of training required to enter the field. They take approximately two years to complete and programs are offered at many 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 provide more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical components of the business required to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced design training after acquiring the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are mainly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.

In order to work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be needed before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.

Topics to Ask Interior Design Colleges

Bullhead City Arizona interior designer bathroomNow that you have chosen the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of reviewing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the campus has to be within driving distance from your Bullhead City AZ residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending a school online, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will decrease your options also. But choosing the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you need to consider as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a few questions that you may want to ask the programs you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others to help you examine and ultimately pick the right degree program.

Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's essential to confirm that the interior designer program and college 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). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone 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 confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it might also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Bullhead City Arizona employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.

Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States calling for licensing, at least 2 years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore besides furnishing an exceptional education, the Bullhead City AZ school you select should also furnish the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be working.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It might also indicate that the school has a substantial network of Bullhead City AZ business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Bullhead City AZ schools you are looking at and ask what type of aid they offer. A number of interior designer schools offer financial aid to their new students. Various schools offer partial scholarships while others provide help in securing grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Small are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Bullhead City AZ programs you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Bullhead City home, visit the college 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, make sure that the interior designer school you select offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Bullhead City AZ, make certain that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.

Enroll in the Right Interior Designer College near Bullhead City Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Bullhead City ArizonaChoosing the ideal interior design school is a crucial first step toward starting your career in this artistic and rewarding occupation. Locating a college where you will receive your training and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a challenging job no matter what field you have decided on. As with any undertaking to receive an advanced education, there are many points to think about before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. However it is still imperative that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly 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 Bullhead City Arizona.