How to Pick an Interior Designer College near Bullhead City Arizona
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design college near Bullhead City AZ, it’s time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential spaces, it’s imperative that you receive the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s very important that you carry out the proper research so that you can evaluate and compare each program that you are reviewing before you make your ultimate decision. But exactly where do you begin? Many future students will start their research by searching for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are relevant issues when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation need to be considered also. We will discuss 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 cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class alternatives are available.
Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Many people confuse interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The key difference between the two is the amount of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, doing business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or residential spaces functional as well as attractive. On many projects they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are two general areas that an interior designer in Bullhead City AZ may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers normally focus predominantly 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 stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.
There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui principles, Bullhead City AZ interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
Interior Designer Degree Options
There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to receive the training required to launch your new career in Bullhead City AZ. Your choice will undoubtedly be driven by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, make certain to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in some states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum level of training needed to enter the field. 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 positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that provide more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical components of the business required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced training in design after acquiring a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide choices in specialized majors in general areas such 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 differ in length but are generally completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work professionally and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, many states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be called for before a candidate can take the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Classes
For individuals who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their Bullhead City AZ homes, there are accredited online interior design colleges. Studying online can be a good solution for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For some students online programs may be the only option if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the school you select is accredited by a respected accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the right option for you.
What to Ask Interior Designer Schools
Once you have chosen the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of evaluating your college options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the college needs to be within driving distance from your Bullhead City AZ home. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will narrow down your choices also. But choosing the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you should look at as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a few concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and ultimately pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It’s important to confirm that the interior designer college and program that you select has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive evaluation of their programs and teachers. Just confirm 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 verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are outstanding, it may also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Bullhead City AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several 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 college. And in some of those States requiring licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required also. So besides providing an excellent education, the Bullhead City AZ program you choose should also provide the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some support in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It may also signify that the college has a sizable network of Bullhead City AZ business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Bullhead City AZ schools you are evaluating and find out what kind of support they provide. A number of interior design colleges provide financial assistance to their new students. Various schools provide partial scholarships while others provide help in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Bullhead City AZ schools you are considering what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Bullhead City home, visit the college and attend a few classes. While there speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior design program you enroll in provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Bullhead 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 alternative as well. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Considering Attending Interior Design School in Bullhead City AZ?
Bullhead City, Arizona
Bullhead City is a city located on the Colorado River in Mohave County, Arizona, United States, roughly 90 mi (140 km) south of Las Vegas, Nevada, and directly across the Colorado River from Laughlin, Nevada, whose casinos and ancillary services supply much of the employment for Bullhead City. Bullhead City is located on the southern border of Lake Mohave. According to the 2010 census, the population of the city is 39,540. The nearby communities of Laughlin, Needles, California, Fort Mohave and Mohave Valley bring the Bullhead area's total population to about 100,000, making it the largest micropolitan area in Mohave County.
In 2011, the Laughlin/Bullhead International Airport was named Airport of the Year by the Arizona Department of Transportation. The latest figures indicate that "...more than 115,000 people flew into Laughlin/Bullhead International Airport on casino-sponsored charters in 2010." In the 1980s the airport was home to the helicopters of the TV show Airwolf.
The earliest inhabitants of the Colorado River Valley were the Mojave people. The rich soil and plentiful water provided the valley's natives with the necessities to create a prosperous farming community. According to Mojave legend, life began on Spirit Mountain, the highest peak visible from the Bullhead City area.
Pick the Right Interior Design School near Bullhead City AZ
Choosing the ideal interior design program is a critical first step toward starting your career in this artistic and fulfilling occupation. Searching for a school where you will obtain your education and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a difficult task no matter what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to attain an advanced education, there are a number of points to consider before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. But it is still essential that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare programs so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Bullhead City AZ.
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