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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Bullhead City AZ

How to Select the Right Interior Designer Degree Program

Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design degree program 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 imperative that you receive the appropriate training to put your talents to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it's crucial that you carry out the appropriate research in order to analyze and compare each college that you are looking at before you make your final decision. But exactly where do you begin? Some prospective students will start their research by searching for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are key issues when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into account as well. We will cover those topics and other crucial 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 class alternatives are offered.

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Interior Design vs Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Bullhead City AZ

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

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Design. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers often focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.

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

Interior Designer Degrees

There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to get the training required to begin your new career in Bullhead City AZ. Your selection will no doubt be influenced by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, be sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in several states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum amount of education required to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to finish and programs are available at many Arizona vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that provide more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical components of the business needed to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced training in design after achieving a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide alternatives in specialty majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are mainly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are normally completed in three to five years.

To work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be required before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.

Online Interior Design Colleges

Bullhead City AZ student attending interior design school onlineFor individuals who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Bullhead City AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design schools. Attending classes online can be an excellent option for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For some students online schools may be the sole option if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Added expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the program you select is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the dedication to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the right alternative for you.

Subjects to Ask Interior Design Programs

Now that you have selected the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of reviewing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the college needs to be within driving distance from your Bullhead City AZ residence. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will limit your options as well. But selecting the most affordable school or the one that is closest to your house are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you need to consider also, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a few questions that you may want to ask the schools you are reviewing to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and subsequently pick the right degree program.

Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the interior design college and program that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous 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 organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when obtaining 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 employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.

Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of 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 college. And in several of those States calling for licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required also. So besides furnishing an outstanding education, the Bullhead City AZ college you select should also furnish the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum licensing requirements 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 design certification, you will no doubt need some support in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign 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 school 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? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Bullhead City AZ colleges you are reviewing and find out what kind of support they provide. Many of interior design colleges provide financial aid to their incoming students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide help in obtaining federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Bullhead City AZ schools you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Bullhead City home, visit the campus and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior designer college you enroll in offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Bullhead City AZ, make certain that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.

Enroll in the Right Interior Designer Program near Bullhead City Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Bullhead City ArizonaPicking the ideal interior designer school is a crucial first step toward launching your career in this creative and gratifying occupation. Finding a school where you will receive your training and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a challenging task no matter what field you have selected. As with any undertaking to receive a higher education, there are a number of points to think about before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the business. However it is still essential that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design programs so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with quality training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Bullhead City Arizona.