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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Bullhead City AZ

How to Select the Right Interior Designer Degree Program

Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design college 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 commercial or residential interiors, it's important that you receive the appropriate training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it's essential that you carry out the appropriate research in order to evaluate and compare each college that you are reviewing before you make your final choice. But where do you begin? Some potential students will start their research by looking for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are key factors when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation should be considered also. We will cover those issues and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are interested in 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.

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Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design

interior designed living room in Bullhead City AZ

Many people mistake interior design for interior decoration. The principal distinction between the two is the level of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, conducting business 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 educated to make living or work spaces attractive as well as functional. On various projects they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Bullhead City AZ may specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any room of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Design. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers frequently concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the main concern.

There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui principles, Bullhead City Arizona interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final designs.
 

Interior Designer Degree Programs

There are four degree options available in interior design to receive the training needed to launch your new profession in Bullhead City AZ. Your selection will no doubt be motivated by your career objectives in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in some states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum level of education required to enter the field. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are offered at many Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative components of the business needed 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 provide advanced design training after achieving a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialty majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are largely for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are usually completed in three to five years.

To work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be called for before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.

Why Train to Become an Interior Designer?

Bullhead City AZ student attending interior design school onlineThere are many options available to you once you graduate and enter the field of interior design.  If you’ve got an entrepreneurial spirit you may become self-employed and open your own interior design shop. You might also work for a small or larger design firm. Designers have careers creating interiors for businesses, hospitals, government buildings, as well as private residences. Rarely is a design career a 9 to 5 job. You’ll need to be flexible, patient, and persistent to get your career off the ground. But you will have the opportunity to earn an attractive income as well as the personal satisfaction of creating beautiful living and working spaces.

Questions to Ask Interior Design Schools

After you have selected the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of reviewing your college options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the campus has to be within driving distance from your Bullhead City AZ residence. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will decrease your options as well. But choosing the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to home are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you need to look at as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a list of questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are considering to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you compare and subsequently pick the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's important to verify that the interior design college and program that you choose has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous evaluation 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 recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are excellent, it might also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Bullhead City Arizona employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.

Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do mandate that interior designers get 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 school. And in some of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore in addition to furnishing an outstanding education, the Bullhead City AZ school you choose should also furnish the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some help in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high 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 may also signify that the college has a significant network of Bullhead City AZ business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Bullhead City AZ colleges you are evaluating and find out what kind of support they provide. A number of interior designer schools provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain schools 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 important for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Bullhead City AZ schools you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Bullhead City home, go to the campus and sit in on a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior design college you choose provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Bullhead City AZ, verify that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.

Enroll in the Right Interior Design College near Bullhead City Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Bullhead City ArizonaSelecting the ideal interior design college is a critical first step toward launching your career in this artistic and gratifying profession. Finding a college where you will obtain your education and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a challenging task regardless of what field you have chosen. As with any undertaking to acquire a higher education, there are many things to think about before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, make sure that the design college and program are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. However it is still important that you complete your due diligence research. 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 schools so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with quality training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Bullhead City Arizona.