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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Antelope CA

How to Find the Right Interior Designer Program

Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Antelope CA, it's time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's important that you get the right training to put your skills to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it's very important that you perform the proper research so that you can evaluate and compare each college that you are reviewing before you make your final choice. But exactly where do you start? Many future students will launch their research by looking for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are relevant issues when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into consideration as well. We will cover those topics and other crucial questions that you must ask 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 training choices are available.

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Interior Decoration vs Interior Design

interior designed living room in Antelope CA

Some people mistake interior design for interior decoration. The primary distinction between the two is the level of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. However, working as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or residential areas functional as well as attractive. On various projects they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are two broad areas that an interior designer in Antelope CA may specialize in:

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

There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui concepts, Antelope California interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final creations.
 

Interior Designer Degrees

There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to obtain the training required to launch your new profession in Antelope CA. Your selection will undoubtedly be motivated by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, make 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 short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum level of training needed to enter the profession. They take about 2 years to finish and programs are offered at a number of California community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can typically obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical aspects of the business required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs supply advanced design training after acquiring the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialized majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are mainly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are typically completed in three to five years.

To work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be called for before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.

Questions to Ask Interior Design Schools

Antelope California interior designer bathroomWhen you have selected the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of assessing your school options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your Antelope CA residence. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will limit your choices as well. But picking the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you need to look at as well, 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 obtain those answers as well as others to help you assess and ultimately pick the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's necessary to make sure that the interior designer college and program that you enroll in has earned accreditation from 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 gone through a demanding assessment of their instructors and programs. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school 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 employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.

Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. So aside from furnishing an excellent education, the Antelope CA program you select should also provide the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam 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? After you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some support in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design field and its graduates are in demand. It could also indicate that the college has a substantial network of Antelope CA business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial aid departments for the Antelope CA colleges you are evaluating and find out what type of aid they provide. A number of interior design colleges offer financial aid to their incoming students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships while others provide support in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Big are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Antelope CA schools you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Antelope home, visit the school and sit in on a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior designer college you select provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Antelope CA, confirm that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.

Choose the Right Interior Design School near Antelope California

interior designed kitchen in Antelope CaliforniaPicking the right interior designer program is an important initial step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding profession. Searching for a school where you will obtain your education and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting task regardless of what field you have selected. As with any endeavor to receive an advanced education, there are several things to consider 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 essential that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design programs so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Antelope California.