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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Antelope CA

How to Find the Best Interior Design Program

Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer college near Antelope CA, it's time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's essential that you get the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's vital that you do the appropriate research so that you can evaluate and compare each college that you are considering prior to making your ultimate choice. But exactly where do you start? A number of prospective students will kick off their research by looking for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are important factors when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation should be considered as well. We will discuss those issues and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class choices are available.

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Interior Decoration vs Interior Design

interior designed living room in Antelope CA

Many people confuse interior decoration for interior design. The key difference between the two is the level of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, working as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or residential spaces functional as well as attractive. On various occasions they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad areas that an interior designer in Antelope CA may specialize in:

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

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

Interior Design Training Programs

There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to get the training necessary to start your new profession in Antelope CA. Your selection will no doubt be driven 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 decide to enroll in, be sure 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 several states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum level of training required to enter the profession. They take approximately 2 years to complete and programs are offered at many California community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level employment 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 aspects 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 2 year programs furnish advanced training in design after achieving the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer choices in specialized majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mostly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are generally completed in three to five years.

To work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be needed before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.

Why Become an Interior Designer?

Antelope 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.

Subjects to Ask Interior Design Programs

After you have selected the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of analyzing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the campus must be within driving distance from your Antelope CA home. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will narrow down your options also. But picking the least expensive school or the one that is closest to home are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you should look at as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a list of concerns 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 subsequently choose the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's important to confirm that the interior design program and school that you select has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. 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 teachers. Just verify that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Antelope California employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.

Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore in addition to furnishing an excellent education, the Antelope CA college you select should also furnish the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with 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 attained your interior designer certification, you will probably need some support in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It might also signify that the school has a sizable network of Antelope CA business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Antelope CA colleges you are looking at and find out what kind of assistance they offer. Many of interior designer colleges offer financial assistance to their new students. Certain schools offer partial scholarships and others provide help in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Antelope CA schools you are considering what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Antelope home, visit the college and attend a couple of classes. While there 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 designer school you choose provides classes the fit your active 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 offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.

Choose the Right Interior Design College 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 creative and gratifying occupation. Searching for a college where you will obtain your education and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a challenging task regardless of what field you have chosen. As with any undertaking to receive a higher education, there are a number of factors to think about before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. However it is still essential that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Antelope California.