Home >> California >> Antioch >> Interior Design Courses Online


Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Antioch CA

How to Select the Right Interior Designer College

Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design degree program near Antioch CA, it's time to start 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 obtain the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's crucial that you carry out the proper research so that you can analyze and compare each program that you are considering before you make your ultimate selection. But where do you begin? Many prospective students will begin their research by searching for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are relevant issues when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must 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 cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class alternatives are available.

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

Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design

interior designed living room in Antioch CA

Many people confuse interior design for interior decoration. The principal 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 skill for decorating interior areas. However, doing business as an interior designer requires formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make living or work spaces attractive as well as functional. On some occasions they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Antioch CA may specialize in:

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

There are various areas of commercial and residential 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 create their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui concepts, Antioch California interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
 

Interior Design Degrees

There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to acquire the training required to begin your new career in Antioch CA. Your choice will no doubt be influenced by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose 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 covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum amount of education needed to enter the field. They take roughly 2 years to finish and programs are offered at numerous California trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that supply more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical components of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced training in design after acquiring the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mostly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are typically completed in three to five years.

In order to work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be required before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.

Why Train to Become an Interior Designer?

Antioch 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 Designer Programs

After you have selected the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of reviewing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the college must be within driving distance from your Antioch CA residence. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will limit your options also. But selecting the most affordable college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you should look at also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are considering to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and subsequently select the right degree program.

Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's necessary to confirm that the interior design college and program that you select has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive evaluation of their programs and teachers. 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 verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Antioch California employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.

Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States calling for licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from furnishing an outstanding education, the Antioch CA school you choose should also furnish the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for California or the State where you will be working.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It might also indicate that the school has a large network of Antioch CA business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Antioch CA schools you are reviewing and find out what kind of aid they offer. A number of interior design schools provide financial aid to their incoming students. Various schools offer partial scholarships while others provide support in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Small are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Antioch CA colleges you are reviewing what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Antioch home, visit the campus and monitor a few classes. While there talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior designer program you select offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Antioch CA, make sure that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.

Enroll in the Right Interior Design College near Antioch California

interior designed kitchen in Antioch CaliforniaChoosing the right interior design college is an important first step toward starting your career in this artistic and fulfilling profession. Locating a college where you will receive your training and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult job regardless of what field you have selected. As with any endeavor to acquire an advanced education, there are many factors to consider before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. However it is still important that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design programs so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Antioch California.