How to Choose an Interior Designer College near Kingman Arizona
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design degree program near Kingman AZ, it’s time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial spaces, it’s imperative that you receive the appropriate training to put your talents to work. And since several states do mandate 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 very important that you do the appropriate research so that you can evaluate and compare each school that you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection. But where do you begin? A number of prospective students will launch their research by looking for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are key variables when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to be considered also. We will address those topics and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are looking at 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 offered.
Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration
Often people confuse interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The principal distinction between the two is the level of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator in Kingman AZ if they have a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. However, doing business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or residential spaces functional as well as attractive. On some occasions they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are two general areas that an interior designer can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers in Kingman AZ typically 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 may specialize in designing one particular room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, Kingman AZ designers frequently focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.
There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design in Kingman AZ that a designer must learn, including lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. They must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui concepts, interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
Interior Designer Degree Options
There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to get the training required to launch your new career. Your selection will undoubtedly be influenced 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 choose to enroll in, be sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in a number of states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered near Kingman AZ.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum amount of training required to enter the profession. They take about 2 years to finish and programs are available at many Kingman AZ area community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that supply more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative facets of the trade 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 furnish advanced design training after acquiring the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide options in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are largely for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work professionally and use the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be called for before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Designer Online Classes
For students who to study in the comfort of their homes, there are accredited online interior design degrees. Attending classes online can be a great alternative for those students that are employed 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 schools may be the sole option if no Kingman AZ area interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Additional expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated also. Just make certain that the school you choose is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the discipline to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the ideal alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Designer Schools
After you have selected the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the task of analyzing your Kingman AZ area college options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the school must be within commuting distance from your residence. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will narrow down your options also. But choosing the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to home are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other things that you should look at also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the program. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are considering to get those answers in addition to others to help you assess and subsequently pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It’s imperative to confirm that the interior designer school and program that you choose has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive assessment of their programs and instructors. 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 college and the quality of the education are outstanding, it may also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Kingman AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several states do require that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those states requiring licensing, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from providing an exceptional education, the Kingman AZ college you choose should also provide the proper education to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with 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 need some help in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design profession and its students are sought after. It might also signify that the college has a large network of Kingman AZ area business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the schools you are evaluating and find out what kind of aid they offer. Many of Kingman AZ area interior designer colleges offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide support in securing federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Kingman AZ colleges you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your home, visit the school and sit in on a couple of classes. While there speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Last, make certain that the Kingman AZ interior design school you select provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends, make sure that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an option also. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Select the Best Interior Designer Program near Kingman ArizonaPicking the right interior designer college is an important first step toward launching your career in this artistic and rewarding occupation. Searching for a college 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 decided on. As with any undertaking to attain an advanced education, there are several things to consider before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, verify that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected 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 recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare programs so that you can make the right final selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer.
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