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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Anaheim CA

How to Pick the Right Interior Design School

Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer school near Anaheim CA, 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 get the appropriate training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it's crucial that you perform the appropriate research so that you can evaluate and compare each college that you are considering prior to making your final selection. But exactly where do you begin? A number of prospective students will launch their research by searching for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are important issues when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation must be considered as well. We will address those issues and other vital questions that you must ask 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 offered.

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Interior Decoration vs Interior Design

interior designed living room in Anaheim CA

Often people mistake interior design for interior decoration. The principal difference between the two is the amount of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or living spaces attractive as well as functional. On many projects they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Anaheim CA may specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public areas, designers frequently concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the main concern.

There are numerous areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers need to 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, Anaheim California interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
 

Interior Designer Degree Programs

There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to obtain the training needed to start your new career in Anaheim CA. Your selection will no doubt be motivated by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, be sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in a number of states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum amount of training needed to enter the field. They take about two years to complete and programs are available at many California community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can normally obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that supply more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative facets of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs supply advanced design training after achieving the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer choices in specialty majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. 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 wish 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.

In order 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, 2 or more years of field experience may be required before a candidate can take the licensing examination.

Why Train to Become 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.

Topics to Ask Interior Design Programs

Now that you have chosen the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of analyzing your school options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the school needs to be within commuting distance from your Anaheim CA home. Naturally if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will narrow down your options as well. But choosing the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to your house are not the optimal 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 questions that you may want to address with the schools you are considering to get those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and subsequently select the right degree program.

Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's imperative to make sure that the interior design program and school that you choose has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Anaheim California employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.

Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some 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 school. And in some of those States calling for licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required also. Therefore aside from furnishing an exceptional education, the Anaheim CA school you choose should also furnish the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for California or the State where you will be employed.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will probably need some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design field and its students are sought after. It may also signify that the college has a significant network of Anaheim CA business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Contact the financial aid offices for the Anaheim CA colleges you are reviewing and find out what type of aid they provide. Many of interior designer schools provide financial aid to their incoming students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Anaheim CA programs you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Anaheim home, go to the campus and monitor a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior design school you select offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Anaheim CA, make certain that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an option also. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.

Choose the Right Interior Design School near Anaheim California

interior designed kitchen in Anaheim CaliforniaSelecting the right interior designer program is a critical first step toward launching your career in this creative and rewarding profession. Finding a college where you will obtain your training and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a challenging job regardless of what field you have selected. As with any endeavor to attain an advanced education, there are many points to think about before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, confirm that the design college and program are both accredited and highly esteemed in the business. However it is still essential that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Anaheim California.