Home >> California >> Antelope >> Interior Design Schools


Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Antelope CA

How to Pick the Best Interior Designer School

Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer school near Antelope CA, it's time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's important that you get the right training to put your skills to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it's vital that you do the proper research in order to evaluate and compare each college that you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection. But exactly where do you start? Some prospective students will launch their research by searching for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are important factors when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into consideration as well. We will discuss those issues and other vital questions that you should be asking 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 options are offered.

Start Your Interior Design Career By Requesting Free Info on Local Schools Below

Interior Decoration and Interior Design

interior designed living room in Antelope CA

Many people confuse interior decoration for interior design. The primary distinction between them is the level of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. 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 Bachelor's or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or residential spaces attractive as well as functional. On some projects they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad categories 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 room of the home, 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 spaces, designers normally focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the main consideration.

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

Interior Design Degree Programs

There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to get the training needed to launch your new career in Antelope CA. Your selection will no doubt be driven by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in a number of states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation 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 training required to enter the profession. They take about 2 years to complete and programs are available at a number of California community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that provide 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 minimum credential needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs provide advanced design training after achieving the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are primarily for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.

To work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be required before a candidate can take the licensing exam.

Interior Designer Online Schools

Antelope CA student attending interior design school onlineFor those who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their Antelope CA homes, there are accredited online interior design schools. Studying online can be a great alternative for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For many students online colleges may be the sole alternative if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Added expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the school you enroll in is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online 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 ideal alternative for you.

Questions to Ask Interior Designer Programs

When you have chosen the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of analyzing your school options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the campus needs to be within driving distance from your Antelope CA residence. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will narrow down your choices also. But selecting the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to home are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you need to look at as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Below are a list of questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are considering to get those answers as well as others to help you assess and subsequently choose the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's essential to confirm that the interior designer school and program that you select has been accredited by 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). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are exceptional, it might also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Antelope California employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.

Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do mandate 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 program. And in some of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. So in addition to furnishing an exceptional education, the Antelope CA program you select should also furnish the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for California or the State where you will be employed.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will probably want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It could also indicate that the school has a sizable network of Antelope CA business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Antelope CA schools you are evaluating and find out what type of support they provide. Many of interior design programs provide financial aid to their new students. Various schools offer partial scholarships and others provide help in acquiring federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Small are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Antelope CA programs you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Antelope home, go to the college and attend a couple of classes. While there talk with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior design college you enroll in provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to 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 enroll part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the process 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 CaliforniaChoosing the ideal interior design program is a crucial initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and rewarding occupation. Searching for a college where you will obtain your training and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult job no matter what field you have selected. As with any endeavor to acquire a higher education, there are a number of points to think about before choosing a school, program, or course. At a minimum, verify that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the field. But it is still essential that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Antelope California.