How to Select the Best Interior Design School near Fort Mohave Arizona
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design college near Fort Mohave AZ, it's time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's imperative that you obtain the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it's crucial that you carry out the proper research in order to assess and compare each program that you are looking at prior to making your final 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 relevant variables when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation need to be considered as well. We will cover those issues and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are offered.
Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Often people confuse interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The primary distinction between them is the level of education required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer requires formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make living or work spaces functional as well as attractive. On many occasions they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are two broad areas that an interior designer in Fort Mohave AZ can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any area of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers frequently concentrate primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus 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 must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui principles, Fort Mohave AZ interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final designs.
Interior Design Degree Programs
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to obtain the training required to launch your new profession in Fort Mohave AZ. Your selection will undoubtedly be motivated by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in some states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum amount of training needed to enter the field. They take about two years to complete and programs are available at a number of Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can usually obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that provide more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative components of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced design training after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer choices in specialized 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 their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are largely for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college 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", a number of states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be called for before an applicant can take the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Programs
For individuals who wish to study in the comfort of their Fort Mohave AZ homes, there are online accredited 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 home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For many students online programs may be the sole option if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Added expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the program you pick is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the perfect alternative for you.
What to Ask Interior Design Colleges
Now that you have chosen the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of assessing your college options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the school has to be within commuting distance from your Fort Mohave AZ home. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will limit your options also. But selecting the cheapest college or the one that is closest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you should consider as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and ultimately select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's necessary to make sure that the interior designer college and program 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 obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous assessment of their teachers and programs. Just confirm that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Fort Mohave AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States requiring licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required also. So besides providing an exceptional education, the Fort Mohave AZ college you choose should also provide the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be working.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some help in finding your first job. Ask the programs 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 sign that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its students are sought after. It may also indicate that the college has a sizable network of Fort Mohave AZ business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Fort Mohave AZ colleges you are evaluating and ask what kind of aid they offer. A number of interior designer schools offer financial assistance to their new students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide help in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Fort Mohave AZ colleges you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Fort Mohave home, go to the campus and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior design college you choose provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Fort Mohave AZ, verify that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Best Fort Mohave Interior Design School
Picking the ideal interior designer college is a crucial initial step toward launching your career in this creative and fulfilling profession. Searching for a school where you will obtain your education and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a daunting job regardless of what major you have selected. 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 regarded in the profession. However it is still imperative that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Fort Mohave Arizona.