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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Anaheim CA

How to Find the Best Interior Design Course

Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near Anaheim CA, it's time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's imperative that you receive the appropriate training to put your skills to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it's crucial that you do the appropriate research in order to evaluate and compare each program that you are reviewing before you make your final decision. But where do you begin? Many potential students will kick off their research by looking for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are key issues when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into consideration also. We will address those topics and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But first, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training choices are offered.

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Interior Decoration and Interior Design

interior designed living room in Anaheim CA

Often people mistake interior design for interior decoration. The key distinction between the two is the amount of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or residential areas attractive as well as functional. On various occasions they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Anaheim CA can specialize in:

  • Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any room of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Designing. When working on public or commercial areas, designers normally concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to 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 concentrate more on functionality over looks as the main consideration.

There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, such as lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. They need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui principles, Anaheim California interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
 

Interior Design Degrees

There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to receive the training necessary to start your new profession in Anaheim CA. Your selection will undoubtedly be influenced by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, make certain to pick 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 covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish 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 California trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can typically obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical aspects of the business needed to become a designer. They are the minimum degree 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 design training after achieving a 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 degrees are largely for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are normally completed in three to five years.

In order to work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be called for before a candidate can take the licensing examination.

Why Do You Want to Be an Interior Designer?

Anaheim CA student attending interior design school onlineThere are many options available to you once you graduate and enter the field of interior design.  If you’ve got an entrepreneurial spirit you may become self-employed and open your own interior design shop. You might also work for a small or larger design firm. Designers have careers creating interiors for businesses, hospitals, government buildings, as well as private residences. Rarely is a design career a 9 to 5 job. You’ll need to be flexible, patient, and persistent to get your career off the ground. But you will have the opportunity to earn an attractive income as well as the personal satisfaction of creating beautiful living and working spaces.

Questions to Ask Interior Designer Colleges

After you have selected the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of assessing your school options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the college has to be within commuting distance from your Anaheim CA home. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will limit your choices also. But selecting the most affordable college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you need to consider also, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Below are a few concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are looking at to get those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and ultimately select the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's necessary to make sure that the interior design college and program that you enroll in has been accredited by 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 a demanding assessment of their programs and instructors. Just make sure 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 training are outstanding, it may also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Anaheim California employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.

Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do mandate that interior designers get 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, a minimum of 2 years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore in addition to furnishing an outstanding education, the Anaheim CA college you select should also provide the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for California or the State where you will be working.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will no doubt need some help in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If yes, 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 in demand. It might also signify that the school has a large network of Anaheim CA business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Anaheim CA colleges you are reviewing and find out what kind of aid they offer. A number of interior designer programs provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide support in obtaining federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Anaheim CA programs you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Anaheim home, visit the campus and sit in on a couple of classes. While there speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior design school you choose provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Anaheim CA, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.

Enroll in the Right Interior Designer School near Anaheim California

interior designed kitchen in Anaheim CaliforniaSelecting the ideal interior design program is an important initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and fulfilling profession. Locating a college where you will obtain your education and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a difficult task regardless of what field you have decided on. As with any endeavor to receive a higher education, there are several things to think about before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. But it is still imperative that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design schools so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Anaheim California.