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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Bullhead City AZ

How to Pick the Best Interior Design Course

Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design college near Bullhead City AZ, it's time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's imperative that you receive the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's essential that you carry out the proper research so that you can analyze and compare each college that you are reviewing before you make your final decision. But just where do you start? Some prospective students will kick off their research by looking for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are important factors when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into consideration as well. We will cover those topics and other crucial questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But before we do, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class alternatives are available.

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Interior Design vs Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Bullhead City AZ

Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design. The principal difference between the two is the amount of training required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer requires 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 living areas functional as well as attractive. On many occasions they may team up 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 frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any area of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers frequently concentrate primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over appearance as the main consideration.

There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, including color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create 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 ultimate creations.
 

Interior Designer Degree Options

There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to obtain the training necessary to begin your new profession in Bullhead City AZ. Your selection will undoubtedly be influenced by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have to invest in 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 take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in some states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum level of education needed to enter the profession. They take approximately two years to complete and programs are offered at numerous Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly 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 creative and technical components of the business required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced design training after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer options in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mostly for those professionals who desire 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 professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.

Questions to Ask Interior Designer Colleges

Bullhead City Arizona interior designer bathroomOnce you have decided on the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of reviewing your college options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the campus must be within driving distance from your Bullhead City AZ residence. Obviously 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 cost of tuition will limit your choices also. But selecting the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to home are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you should look at as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a few questions that you may want to address with the schools you are looking at to get those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and subsequently choose the right degree program.

Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's important to verify that the interior design program and school that you choose has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding evaluation of their programs and teachers. Just make sure 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 verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it might also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Bullhead City Arizona employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.

Does the Program Prepare 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 school. And in several of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore in addition to furnishing an outstanding education, the Bullhead City AZ college you select should also provide the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be working.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some support in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It might also signify that the college has a large network of Bullhead City AZ business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Bullhead City AZ schools you are reviewing and ask what type of support they provide. Many of interior design programs provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Various schools offer partial scholarships while others provide help in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.

How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Bullhead City AZ colleges you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Bullhead City home, visit the college and attend 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 philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior design school you enroll in offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Bullhead City AZ, verify that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.

Choose the Best Interior Design College near Bullhead City Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Bullhead City ArizonaPicking the right interior designer program is a crucial initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and gratifying profession. Locating a college where you will obtain your training and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a challenging job no matter what field you have selected. As with any undertaking to acquire an advanced education, there are several factors to think about before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, verify that the design college and program are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. However it is still essential that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Bullhead City Arizona.