Home >> California >> Arden Arcade >> Interior Design Degrees Online


Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Arden Arcade CA

How to Find the Best Interior Designer Degree Program

Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer college near Arden Arcade CA, it's time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's important that you obtain the right training to put your talents to work. And since several states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it's very important that you carry out the proper research so that you can analyze and compare each college that you are looking at prior to making your final selection. But exactly where do you start? Some future students will begin their research by searching for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are relevant variables when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation must be considered also. We will discuss those issues and other vital questions that you must ask 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 class 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 Arden Arcade CA

Many people mistake 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 have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. However, doing business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or living spaces functional as well as attractive. On many occasions they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are two broad areas 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 basically any area of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers frequently concentrate predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.

There are various areas of residential and commercial 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 choosing wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui principles, Arden Arcade California interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that help bring about their final creations.
 

Interior Design Training Programs

There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to acquire the training necessary to launch your new career in Arden Arcade CA. Your decision will undoubtedly be motivated by your career objectives in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for 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 short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum amount of education required to enter the field. They take approximately two years to finish and programs are available 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 furnish more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative facets of the business required to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced design training after achieving the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer options in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are primarily for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary in length but are typically 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 degree programs become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required before an applicant can take the licensing exam.

Why Become an Interior Designer?

Arden Arcade 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 Colleges

When you have chosen the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of analyzing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the campus must be within driving distance from your Arden Arcade CA residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But selecting the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other things that you need to consider as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Below are a few concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and subsequently pick the right degree program.

Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's imperative to make sure that the interior designer school and program that you enroll in 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 gone through a rigorous evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just verify 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 confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are excellent, it may also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Arden Arcade California employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.

Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do mandate 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 some of those States requiring licensing, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to furnishing an exceptional education, the Arden Arcade CA program you select should also provide the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for California or the State where you will be employed.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It may also indicate that the college has a significant network of Arden Arcade CA business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Contact the financial aid departments for the Arden Arcade CA colleges you are evaluating and find out what kind of support they offer. Many of interior design programs provide financial aid to their incoming students. Certain schools offer partial scholarships and others provide help in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Arden Arcade CA schools you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Arden Arcade home, go to the college and monitor a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and ask 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 Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior designer college you choose provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Arden Arcade CA, verify that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.

Choose the Right Interior Design School near Arden Arcade California

interior designed kitchen in Arden Arcade CaliforniaSelecting the ideal interior design school is a critical first step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding profession. Finding a school where you will receive your education and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a challenging task regardless of what field you have selected. As with any undertaking to receive a higher education, there are a number of factors to consider before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the business. However it is still essential that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design schools so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Arden Arcade California.