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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Apple Valley CA

How to Find the Right Interior Designer School

Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Apple Valley CA, it's time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's imperative that you receive the proper training to put your talents to work. And since several states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it's vital that you do the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each college that you are looking at before you make your ultimate decision. But just where do you begin? A number of potential students will launch their research by looking for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are relevant variables when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation must be taken into consideration also. We will discuss those topics and other crucial 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 class options are offered.

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Interior Decoration and Interior Design

interior designed living room in Apple Valley CA

Some people confuse interior design for interior decoration. The primary difference between them is the amount of training required. Any person 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 a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or living areas attractive as well as functional. On some occasions they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are two broad areas that an interior designer in Apple Valley CA may specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any room of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public areas, designers normally concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of 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 may focus more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.

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

Interior Design Training Programs

There are four degree options offered in interior design to receive the training needed to start your new career in Apple Valley CA. Your selection will undoubtedly be motivated by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, be sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in some states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum amount of education needed to enter the field. They take roughly two years to complete and programs are available at a number of California trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that supply more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative components of the trade needed 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 2 year programs furnish advanced design training after acquiring a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer choices in specialty majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are primarily for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are usually completed in three to five years.

In order to work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be called for before a candidate can take the licensing examination.

Why Do You Want to Be an Interior Designer?

Apple Valley 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 Colleges

When you have chosen the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of analyzing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your Apple Valley CA home. Obviously if you have decided on attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will narrow down your options also. But selecting the most affordable school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you need to consider also, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a few concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and ultimately select the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's imperative to make sure that the interior design college and program that you select has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous evaluation of their programs and teachers. Just confirm that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are excellent, it might also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Apple Valley California employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.

Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States mandating licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. So in addition to furnishing an outstanding education, the Apple Valley CA school you enroll in should also provide the proper training to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for California or the State where you will be employed.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some support in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It may also indicate that the school has a substantial network of Apple Valley CA business connections where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Apple Valley CA colleges you are reviewing and ask what type of support they offer. Many of interior design colleges offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide help in securing grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Apple Valley CA colleges you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Apple Valley home, go to the campus and sit in on 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 backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior designer college you select offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Apple Valley CA, verify that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative as well. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.

Choose the Right Interior Designer Program near Apple Valley California

interior designed kitchen in Apple Valley CaliforniaSelecting the right interior designer program is a crucial first step toward launching your career in this creative and gratifying occupation. Finding a school where you will receive your education and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting job regardless of what field you have decided on. As with any undertaking to acquire an advanced education, there are many things to think about before choosing a school, program, or course. At a minimum, verify that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. But it is still important that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Apple Valley California.