Home >> California >> Arcadia >> Interior Design Courses Online


Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Arcadia CA

How to Select the Right Interior Design School

Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design college near Arcadia CA, it's time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's essential that you receive the appropriate training to put your talents to work. And since some states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it's crucial that you do the proper research so that you can evaluate and compare each program that you are considering prior to making your final selection. But just where do you begin? A number of potential students will launch their research by looking for interior design courses near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are important variables when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation must be considered as well. We will cover those issues and other crucial questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are reviewing 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 Design compared to Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Arcadia CA

Some people mistake interior design for interior decoration. The principal difference between them is the amount of training required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or residential areas attractive as well as functional. On many projects they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are two broad areas that an interior designer in Arcadia CA can specialize in:

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

There are numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, including lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui principles, Arcadia California interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
 

Interior Designer Degree Options

There are four degree options offered in interior design to acquire the training needed to begin your new career in Arcadia CA. Your choice will undoubtedly be influenced by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose 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 mandated in a number of states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum level of education required to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to finish and programs are offered at a number of California trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can typically obtain entry level positions 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 facets of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level position 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 provide options in specialized majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to advance 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 college or university level. The programs differ in length but are usually completed in three to five years.

To work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required before an applicant can take the licensing examination.

Why Study to Become an Interior Designer?

Arcadia 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.

Questions to Ask Interior Design Programs

After you have selected the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of evaluating your school options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the campus needs to be within driving distance from your Arcadia CA home. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will limit your choices also. But picking the most affordable school or the one that is closest to home are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you should look at as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a few concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and ultimately select the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's necessary to verify that the interior designer program and school that you select has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding evaluation 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 verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are outstanding, it may also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Arcadia California employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.

Does the Program Prep 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) examination as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. So besides furnishing an excellent education, the Arcadia CA school you enroll in should also provide the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for California or the State where you will be working.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some help in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It may also indicate that the college has a significant network of Arcadia CA business connections where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Arcadia CA colleges you are reviewing and find out what kind of aid they provide. Many of interior designer schools provide financial aid to their incoming students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in securing grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Arcadia CA programs you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Arcadia home, go to the school and monitor a few classes. While there speak with some 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 Offered that Fit your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior design school you select provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Arcadia CA, verify 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, check what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.

Choose the Right Interior Designer College near Arcadia California

interior designed kitchen in Arcadia CaliforniaPicking the right interior design school is an important first step toward launching your career in this artistic and fulfilling occupation. Searching for a school where you will obtain your training and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a challenging task regardless of what major you have decided on. As with any undertaking to attain an advanced education, there are many factors to think about before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the field. But it is still imperative that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Arcadia California.