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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Antelope CA

How to Enroll in the Best Interior Design Program

Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer school near Antelope CA, it's time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's essential that you obtain the proper training to put your skills to work. And since several states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's crucial that you carry out the appropriate research in order to evaluate and compare each college that you are considering before you make your ultimate decision. But exactly where do you begin? Some future students will launch their research by looking for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are relevant issues when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into account as well. We will address those topics and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But before we do, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are available.

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Interior Decoration and Interior Design

interior designed living room in Antelope CA

Many people mistake interior decoration for interior design. The main difference between them is the amount of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make living or work spaces functional as well as attractive. On many projects they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are two broad categories that an interior designer in Antelope CA can specialize in:

  • Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any room of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public areas, designers normally focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may focus more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.

There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, including color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. They must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui concepts, Antelope California interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
 

Interior Designer Training Programs

There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to obtain the training required to launch your new career in Antelope CA. Your selection will undoubtedly be influenced by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you decide 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) exam mandated in several states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum amount of education needed to enter the profession. They take about 2 years to complete and programs are available at many California community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that furnish more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical components 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 position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced design training after acquiring the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialty majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are mainly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are normally completed in three to five years.

In order to work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be called for before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.

Online Interior Designer Degree Programs

Antelope CA student attending interior design school onlineFor anyone wishing to study in the comfort of their Antelope CA homes, there are online accredited interior design classes. Studying online can be a great option for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For some students online programs may be the only alternative if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Added expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated also. Just be sure that the college you select is accredited by a respected accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the perfect alternative for you.

Questions to Ask Interior Design Programs

Once you have chosen the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of reviewing your college options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the college must be within commuting distance from your Antelope CA home. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will limit your choices as well. But picking the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to home are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you should consider as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a few questions that you may want to address with the programs you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and ultimately select the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's imperative to confirm that the interior designer college and program that you enroll in 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 earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding assessment of their programs and instructors. Just confirm 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 establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are excellent, it may also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Antelope California employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.

Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do require 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 mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. So aside from providing an outstanding education, the Antelope CA school you choose should also provide the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for California or the State where you will be working.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will probably want some support in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It could also indicate that the college has a substantial network of Antelope CA business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Antelope CA colleges you are looking at and ask what kind of assistance they offer. A number of interior designer colleges provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide help in obtaining federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Antelope CA colleges you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Antelope home, go to the campus and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk 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 Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior designer program you choose offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Antelope 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, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Choose the Best Interior Designer Program near Antelope California

interior designed kitchen in Antelope CaliforniaSelecting the right interior designer school is a crucial first step toward launching your career in this artistic and fulfilling occupation. Locating a school where you will obtain your education and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a challenging job regardless of what field you have chosen. As with any undertaking to attain an advanced education, there are many factors to consider before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the design college and program are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. However it is still imperative that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design programs so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Antelope California.