How to Pick an Interior Designer College near Littlefield Arizona
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer college near Littlefield AZ, it’s time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it’s essential that you obtain the proper training to put your skills to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s very important that you carry out the appropriate research so that you can analyze and compare each program that you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate choice. But exactly where do you start? Many future students will launch their research by searching for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are important factors when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into account also. We will cover those topics and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class options are available.
Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design
Some people mistake interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The key distinction between the two is the level of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. However, working as an interior designer requires a formal education 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 functional as well as attractive. On some occasions they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are two broad categories that an interior designer in Littlefield AZ may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public areas, designers normally concentrate predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over appearance as the main consideration.
There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, for example lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui principles, Littlefield AZ interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that help bring about their final creations.
Interior Design Degree Programs
There are four degree options available in interior design to acquire the training needed to begin your new career in Littlefield AZ. Your choice will undoubtedly be influenced by your career objectives in addition to the money and time that you have to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in a number of states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum level of education needed to enter the profession. They take approximately 2 years to complete and programs are offered at many Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that furnish more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative facets of the business required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced design training after attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer options in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are largely for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are usually completed in three to five years.
To work as a professional and use the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be needed before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.
Interior Designer Online Schools
For anyone wishing’ to attend classes in the comfort of their Littlefield AZ homes, there are accredited online interior design colleges. Attending classes online can be a good option for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For some students online colleges may be the sole option if no interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Added expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the school you choose is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the dedication to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the perfect alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Design Schools
After you have decided on the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of evaluating your school options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the college needs to be within driving distance from your Littlefield AZ residence. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will decrease your options as well. But choosing the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you need to look at as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the colleges you are reviewing to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and subsequently pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It’s essential to make sure that the interior design program and college that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are exceptional, it may also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Littlefield AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States calling for licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from furnishing an exceptional education, the Littlefield AZ school you choose should also provide the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be working.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some support in finding your first job. Ask the colleges 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 an excellent indication that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its students are sought after. It may also signify that the school has a large network of Littlefield AZ business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial aid departments for the Littlefield AZ schools you are reviewing and ask what kind of aid they provide. Many of interior designer programs provide financial aid to their new students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide support in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Littlefield AZ colleges you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Littlefield home, visit the campus and monitor a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior designer program you choose provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Littlefield AZ, verify that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Considering Attending Interior Design School in Littlefield AZ?
Littlefield is an unincorporated community and census-designated place in Mohave County located in the Arizona Strip region of the U.S. state of Arizona. As of the 2010 census, its population was 308. It lies along Interstate 15 approximately 10 miles northeast of Mesquite, Nevada. Littlefield is located in the 86432 zip code.
Littlefield and neighboring Beaver Dam have the distinction of being the only towns in Arizona along I-15. Owing to its location in the Arizona Strip, northwest of Grand Canyon National Park and west of the Virgin River, it is isolated by hundreds of miles from the rest of the state. Travel to other towns within Arizona requires crossing through either Nevada or Utah, or routing through unpaved roads to the rest of Arizona's road network.
Select the Best Interior Design School near Littlefield AZ
Picking the ideal interior design school is a critical first step toward starting your career in this artistic and rewarding occupation. Locating a college where you will obtain your training and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a daunting job no matter what major you have selected. As with any endeavor to recieve a higher education, there are a number of factors to consider before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. However it is still important 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 properly review and compare colleges so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Littlefield AZ.
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