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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Arden Arcade CA

How to Enroll in the Right Interior Designer Course

Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer college near Arden Arcade 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 get the appropriate training to put your talents to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it's essential that you carry out the proper research in order to analyze and compare each program that you are considering prior to making your ultimate choice. But where do you begin? Some future students will kick off their research by looking for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are important issues when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into account also. We will discuss those issues and other crucial questions that you should be asking 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 training alternatives are available.

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Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Arden Arcade CA

Some people confuse interior design for interior decoration. The key difference between the two is the amount of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, working as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or living areas functional as well as attractive. On various projects they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Arden Arcade CA can 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 may specialize in designing one particular room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Design. When dealing with public or commercial areas, designers frequently focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.

There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. They must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui principles, Arden Arcade California interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
 

Interior Designer Degree Programs

There are 4 degree options available in interior design to obtain the training required to launch your new career in Arden Arcade CA. Your decision will no doubt be motivated by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make certain 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. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum amount of training needed to enter the profession. They take roughly 2 years to finish and programs are offered at a number of California vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that supply more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative facets of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs supply advanced training in design after achieving a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialty majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mostly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are generally completed in three to five years.

To work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be called for before a candidate can take the licensing examination.

Questions to Ask Interior Designer Colleges

Arden Arcade California interior designer bathroomNow that you have chosen the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of assessing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the school needs to be within driving distance from your Arden Arcade CA residence. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will narrow down your options also. But selecting the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you need to look at also, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a few questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you examine and subsequently select the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's necessary to make sure that the interior design school and program that you choose has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive assessment of their programs and instructors. 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 confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Arden Arcade California employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.

Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required also. So aside from providing an excellent education, the Arden Arcade CA college you select should also provide the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for California or the State where you will be employed.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will probably want some help in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It could also indicate that the college has a large network of Arden Arcade CA business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Arden Arcade CA colleges you are looking at and ask what kind of assistance they provide. Many of interior designer schools provide financial assistance to their new students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide help in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.

How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Arden Arcade CA schools you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Arden Arcade home, go to the college and sit in on a couple of classes. While there speak with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior design college you enroll in offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Arden Arcade CA, make sure that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.

Choose the Best Interior Design Program near Arden Arcade California

interior designed kitchen in Arden Arcade CaliforniaSelecting the ideal interior design program is a critical first step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding profession. Searching for a college where you will receive your education and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a daunting job regardless of what major you have decided on. As with any undertaking to attain a higher education, there are a number of things to consider before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. However it is still imperative that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design programs so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Arden Arcade California.