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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Bullhead City AZ

How to Select the Best Interior Design College

Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer college near Bullhead City AZ, it's time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's imperative that you get the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it's essential that you do the appropriate research so that you can evaluate and compare each college that you are looking at before you make your ultimate selection. But exactly where do you begin? Many prospective students will begin their research by searching for interior design courses near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are relevant factors when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into account as well. We will address those topics and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But before we do, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training choices are available.

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Interior Decoration vs Interior Design

interior designed living room in Bullhead City AZ

Some people mistake interior design for interior decoration. The main distinction between them is the level of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, working as an interior designer requires formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or residential areas attractive as well as functional. On some projects they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Bullhead City AZ may specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers often 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 can specialize in designing one particular room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers normally concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.

There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, for example color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui concepts, Bullhead City Arizona interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final designs.
 

Interior Designer Degrees

There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to acquire the training needed to launch your new profession in Bullhead City AZ. Your selection will no doubt be motivated by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in several states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum level of training required to enter the profession. They take about two years to finish and programs are offered at many Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can normally obtain entry level jobs 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 needed to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced training in design after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialized majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are primarily for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary in length but are typically completed in three to five years.

In order to work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be called for before an applicant can take the licensing examination.

Topics to Ask Interior Designer Programs

Bullhead City Arizona interior designer bathroomWhen you have chosen the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the task of evaluating your college options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the college needs to be within driving distance from your Bullhead City AZ residence. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will decrease your options also. But picking the cheapest school or the one that is closest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you need to consider also, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a list of questions that you may want to address with the schools you are considering to get those answers in addition to others to help you compare and subsequently pick the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's imperative to make sure that the interior design program and college that you select has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Bullhead City Arizona employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.

Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do require 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 program. And in several of those States mandating licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required also. Therefore aside from providing an exceptional education, the Bullhead City AZ school you enroll in should also furnish the suitable 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? Once you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some support in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It might also signify that the school has a sizable network of Bullhead City AZ business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Available? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Bullhead City AZ schools you are reviewing and find out what kind of support they offer. A number of interior designer schools provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide help in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Bullhead City AZ programs you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Bullhead City home, go to the school and sit in on a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior design school you select offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Bullhead City AZ, confirm that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Choose the Right Interior Design College near Bullhead City Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Bullhead City ArizonaPicking the ideal interior designer school is a critical first step toward starting your career in this creative and fulfilling profession. Locating a college where you will receive your education and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a difficult job no matter what major you have decided on. As with any undertaking to receive an advanced education, there are several points to think about before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the field. However it is still imperative that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the right final selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Bullhead City Arizona.