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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Lake Havasu City AZ

How to Pick the Right Interior Design School

Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near Lake Havasu City AZ, it's time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's important that you receive the right training to put your skills to work. And since several states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it's vital that you do the proper research so that you can evaluate and compare each program that you are considering prior to making your ultimate choice. But where do you begin? Some potential students will start their research by searching for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are important issues when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into consideration as well. We will address those topics and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class options are available.

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Interior Design and Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Lake Havasu City AZ

Often people confuse interior decoration for interior design. The principal distinction between the two is the amount of training required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make living or work spaces attractive as well as functional. On various occasions they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Lake Havasu City AZ may specialize in:

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

There are numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, such as lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui principles, Lake Havasu City Arizona interior designers implement a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
 

Interior Designer Degrees

There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to get the training required to start your new profession in Lake Havasu City AZ. Your decision 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 choose to enroll in, be sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in several states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum level of education needed to enter the field. They take about 2 years to complete and programs are offered at a number of Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can normally obtain 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 creative and technical facets of the business required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced training in design after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mainly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are generally completed in three to five years.

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

Topics to Ask Interior Design Programs

Lake Havasu City Arizona interior designer bathroomOnce you have chosen the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the college needs to be within commuting distance from your Lake Havasu City AZ residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will decrease your choices as well. But picking the cheapest school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other things that you should look at as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a list of questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are considering to get those answers as well as others to help you compare and ultimately select the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's imperative to verify that the interior designer college and program that you enroll in has earned accreditation from 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 gone through a demanding assessment of their programs and instructors. Just make sure that both the college and the degree program 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 securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Lake Havasu City Arizona employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.

Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States calling for licensing, at least 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to furnishing an outstanding education, the Lake Havasu City AZ college you select should also furnish the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will probably need some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It might also signify that the college has a significant network of Lake Havasu City AZ business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Lake Havasu City AZ colleges you are looking at and find out what kind of support they offer. Many of interior designer colleges provide financial aid to their new students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide help in acquiring grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Lake Havasu City AZ schools you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Lake Havasu City home, go to the college and monitor a few classes. While there talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior designer school you choose provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Lake Havasu City AZ, confirm that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Enroll in the Right Interior Designer College near Lake Havasu City Arizona

interior designed kitchen in Lake Havasu City ArizonaSelecting the ideal interior designer college is a critical initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and rewarding occupation. Locating a school where you will receive your training and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a difficult task no matter what field you have chosen. As with any undertaking to receive a higher education, there are several things to think about before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. But it is still important that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the right final selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Lake Havasu City Arizona.