Home >> Arizona >> Bullhead City >> Interior Design Degrees


Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Bullhead City AZ

How to Find the Best Interior Designer Degree Program

Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school 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 interiors, it's essential that you receive the appropriate training to put your skills to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's crucial that you do the appropriate research so that you can analyze and compare each program that you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision. But exactly where do you start? Many potential students will begin their research by searching for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are relevant issues when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation need to be taken into consideration as well. We will cover those topics and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are reviewing 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 choices are offered.

Start Your Interior Design Career By Requesting Free Info on Local Schools Below

Interior Design and Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Bullhead City AZ

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

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

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

Interior Designer Degree Options

There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to get the training needed to start your new profession in Bullhead City AZ. Your choice will no doubt be influenced by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, be sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in some states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum level of training required to enter the field. They take about 2 years to finish and programs are offered at numerous Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that deliver more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical facets of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs provide advanced design training after achieving the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are primarily for those professionals who want 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", many states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required before an applicant can take the licensing exam.

What to Ask Interior Designer Programs

Bullhead City Arizona interior designer bathroomWhen you have chosen the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process 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 home. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will limit your options as well. But choosing the most affordable school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you should consider as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Below are a few concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and ultimately choose the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's important to make sure that the interior design program and college that you select has been accredited by 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). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment of their programs and teachers. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible 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 Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of occupational experience may be required also. So besides providing an outstanding education, the Bullhead City AZ college you select should also furnish the suitable 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? After you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are considering 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 school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its students are sought after. It could also signify that the college has a large network of Bullhead City AZ business connections where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Bullhead City AZ colleges you are reviewing and ask what type of aid they provide. A number of interior design schools provide financial assistance to their new students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide support in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Bullhead City AZ schools you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Bullhead City home, go to the college and monitor 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 styles are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior designer program you choose offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Bullhead City AZ, verify that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check 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 Designer School near Bullhead City Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Bullhead City ArizonaSelecting the right interior design program is an important initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and gratifying profession. Finding a school where you will receive your education and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a difficult job regardless of what field you have chosen. As with any endeavor to receive an advanced education, there are several things to think about before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. But it is still essential that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design programs so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Bullhead City Arizona.