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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Bullhead City AZ

How to Pick the Right Interior Designer College

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 residential or commercial spaces, it's important that you get the proper training to put your skills to work. And since some states do require that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's vital that you perform the proper research so that you can assess and compare each program that you are looking at prior to making your final decision. But exactly where do you begin? Many potential students will begin their research by looking for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are important factors when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into consideration also. We will cover those issues and other important questions that you should be asking 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 alternatives are available.

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Interior Decoration vs Interior Design

interior designed living room in Bullhead City AZ

Many people mistake interior design for interior decoration. The key difference between the two is the amount of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or residential spaces functional as well as attractive. On many occasions 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 frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers frequently concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary concern.

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

Interior Design Training Programs

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

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum level of training needed to enter the field. They take about two years to complete and programs are available at many Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that supply more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative components of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced design training after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide alternatives in specialized majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mainly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 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 needed before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.

Why 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.

What to Ask Interior Design Programs

Once you have selected the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of assessing your college options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the campus needs to be within driving distance from your Bullhead City AZ home. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will narrow down your options as well. But choosing the cheapest college or the one that is closest to home are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you should look at also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are looking at to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and ultimately choose the right degree program.

Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's necessary to verify that the interior designer college and program that you select has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just make sure 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 establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are outstanding, it may also help when requesting 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 employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.

Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do require 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 mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore besides furnishing an exceptional education, the Bullhead City AZ school you select should also furnish the proper training to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some help in finding your first job. Ask the programs 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 indication that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It may also indicate that the school has a large network of Bullhead City AZ business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial aid offices for the Bullhead City AZ schools you are reviewing and ask what kind of assistance they provide. A number of interior design programs provide financial aid to their new students. Certain schools offer partial scholarships and others provide support in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Big are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Bullhead City AZ colleges you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Bullhead City home, visit the school and monitor a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior designer college you choose provides 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 option also. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.

Choose the Right Interior Design College near Bullhead City Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Bullhead City ArizonaChoosing the ideal interior design program is an important first step toward starting your career in this creative and gratifying occupation. Finding a school where you will obtain your education and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a difficult job regardless of what major you have decided on. As with any endeavor to receive an advanced education, there are a number of things to think about before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. However it is still imperative that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design programs so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Bullhead City Arizona.