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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Bullhead City AZ

How to Choose the Right Interior Design School

Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer college near Bullhead City AZ, it's time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's imperative that you obtain the proper training to put your talents to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's vital that you carry out the proper research so that you can analyze and compare each school that you are considering before you make your final decision. But just where do you begin? Many potential students will begin their research by searching for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are important factors when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into account also. We will address those issues and other vital questions that you should be asking 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 training alternatives are available.

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Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design

interior designed living room in Bullhead City AZ

Many people confuse interior decoration for interior design. The principal difference between them is the amount of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, doing business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make living or work spaces attractive as well as functional. On many occasions they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Bullhead City AZ can 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, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public areas, designers frequently concentrate predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For 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 concern.

There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, including lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui principles, Bullhead City Arizona interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
 

Interior Design Degrees

There are 4 degree options available in interior design to get the training needed to begin your new career in Bullhead City AZ. Your decision will no doubt be influenced by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make certain to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in a number of states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum level of education needed to enter the profession. They take about 2 years to finish and programs are offered at many Arizona community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that provide more in depth 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 college graduate in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs provide advanced training in design after acquiring the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer options in specialty majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are mostly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are usually completed in three to five years.

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

Interior Designer Online Degree Programs

Bullhead City AZ student attending interior design school onlineFor students who wish to study in the convenience of their Bullhead City AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design classes. Attending classes online can be a great solution for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For some students online colleges may be the sole alternative if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Additional expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated also. Just make sure that the school you select is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the right alternative for you.

Topics to Ask Interior Designer Colleges

Once you have chosen the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of analyzing your college options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your Bullhead City AZ residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will limit your choices also. But picking the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to home are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you need to consider also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the program. Below are a few concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are looking at to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and ultimately pick the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's essential to verify that the interior designer program and college that you choose has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just confirm that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it may also help when securing 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 programs for entry level positions.

Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to furnishing an exceptional education, the Bullhead City AZ college you choose should also provide the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ exam 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 obtained your interior designer certification, you will no doubt need some support in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job placement 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 trade and its students are in demand. It could also indicate that the college has a substantial network of Bullhead City AZ business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial aid offices for the Bullhead City AZ colleges you are reviewing and find out what kind of assistance they provide. A number of interior design programs offer financial aid to their new students. Certain schools offer partial scholarships while others provide help in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Bullhead City AZ colleges you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Bullhead City home, go to the college and attend 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 credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior design college you choose offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially significant if you will 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 available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.

Enroll in the Right Interior Designer 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 rewarding profession. Searching for a college where you will receive your training and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a challenging job regardless of what field you have chosen. As with any endeavor to attain a higher education, there are many factors to think about before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, confirm that the design college and program are both accredited and highly esteemed in the business. But it is still important that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design schools so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Bullhead City Arizona.