How to Choose an Interior Designer Program near Lake Havasu City Arizona
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer college near Lake Havasu City AZ, it’s time to start 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 get the appropriate training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do require that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it’s crucial that you do the proper research so that you can analyze and compare each program that you are considering before you make your ultimate selection. But just where do you start? Many prospective students will kick off their research by searching for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are relevant variables when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation need to be considered also. We will discuss those topics and other vital questions that you must ask 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 choices are offered.
Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Often people confuse interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The main distinction between the two is the level of training required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. However, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates 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 some projects they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad areas that an interior designer in Lake Havasu City AZ can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial areas, designers frequently focus predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary concern.
There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, for example color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui principles, Lake Havasu City AZ interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final designs.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are four degree options available in interior design to obtain the training necessary to start your new career in Lake Havasu City AZ. Your decision will undoubtedly be motivated by your career objectives in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make certain to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in several states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum level of education required to enter the field. They take about 2 years to finish and programs are available at a number of Arizona community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that supply more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical 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 position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced training in design after acquiring the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide options in specialized majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to advance 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 programs differ in length but are generally completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work as a professional and use the title of “Interior Designer”, many states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.
Online Interior Design Schools
For anyone wishing’ to study in the comfort of their Lake Havasu City AZ homes, there are accredited online interior design degrees. Studying online can be a good option for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For many students online colleges may be the sole alternative if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Added expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated also. Just make sure that the program you pick is accredited by a respected accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges 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 confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the perfect option for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
Once you have decided on the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of assessing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the school must 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 relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will limit your options as well. But picking the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to home are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you need to consider as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a list of questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are considering to get those answers in addition to others to help you examine and ultimately pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It’s imperative to confirm that the interior design program and school that you choose has been accredited by either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just verify 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 verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Lake Havasu City AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do require that interior designers get 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, 2 or more years of work experience may be required as well. So in addition to furnishing an excellent education, the Lake Havasu City AZ college you select should also provide the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be working.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some help in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its students are sought after. It could also signify that the school has a significant network of Lake Havasu City AZ business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Lake Havasu City AZ schools you are looking at and find out what type of assistance they offer. Many of interior design programs offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide support in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Lake Havasu City AZ schools you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Lake Havasu City home, visit the school and sit in on a few classes. While there speak with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior designer school you select offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Lake Havasu City AZ, verify that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Considering Attending Interior Design School in Lake Havasu City AZ?
Lake Havasu City, Arizona
Lake Havasu City is a city in Mohave County, Arizona, United States. According to 2010 census, the population of the city was 52,527 people. It is served by Lake Havasu City Airport. Lake Havasu City is geographically isolated from the other cities in Mohave County and is the southernmost community of the Las Vegas–Henderson, NV–AZ combined statistical area.
The community first started as an Army Air Corps rest camp, called "Site Six". during World War II on the shores of Lake Havasu. In 1958, American businessman Robert P. McCulloch purchased 3,353 acres (13.57 km2) of property on the east side of the lake along Pittsburgh Point, the peninsula that eventually would be transformed into "the Island".
After four years of planning, McCulloch Properties acquired another 13,000 acres of federal land in the surrounding area. Lake Havasu City was established on September 30, 1963, by a resolution of the Mohave County Board of Supervisors as the Lake Havasu Irrigation and Drainage District, making it a legal entity. (The act is referenced in resolution #63-12-1.) The city was incorporated in 1978.
Find the Ideal Interior Design School near Lake Havasu City AZ
Choosing the right interior designer school is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding occupation. Locating a school where you will obtain your education and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult job regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any undertaking to acquire an advanced education, there are a number of things to consider before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. But it is still essential that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare colleges so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Lake Havasu City AZ.
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