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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 decided to enroll in an interior designer degree program 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 residential or commercial spaces, it's essential that you get the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's crucial that you perform the proper research so that you can assess and compare each college that you are considering before you make your ultimate choice. But just where do you start? Some potential students will kick off their research by searching for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are key factors when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation must be considered as well. We will cover those topics and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But before we do, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are offered.

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Interior Decoration and Interior Design

interior designed living room in Arden Arcade CA

Many people confuse interior decoration for interior design. The main difference between the two is the level of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, conducting 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 trained to make work or residential areas attractive as well as functional. On various occasions they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Arden Arcade CA can specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any room of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers frequently concentrate primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over looks as the main consideration.

There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Arden Arcade California interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
 

Interior Design Degree Programs

There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to receive the training required to launch your new profession in Arden Arcade CA. Your selection will no doubt be driven by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But regardless of 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) exam required in a number of states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum amount of training needed to enter the field. They take about 2 years to finish and programs are offered at numerous California vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can usually obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that provide more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical aspects of the trade needed 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 two year programs provide advanced design training after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are primarily for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.

To work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be needed before an applicant can take the licensing exam.

Why Do You Want to Be 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.

What to Ask Interior Design Programs

Now that you have chosen the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of reviewing your school options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the school has to be within driving distance from your Arden Arcade CA home. Naturally if you have decided on attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will decrease your choices also. But choosing the cheapest college or the one that is closest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you need to look at as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a few concerns that you may want to address with the colleges you are considering to get those answers as well as others to help you assess and subsequently select the right degree program.

Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's necessary to make sure that the interior design college and program that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning 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 organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when applying for financial assistance 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 schools for entry level positions.

Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States mandating licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required also. So in addition to furnishing an exceptional education, the Arden Arcade CA college you choose should also provide the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for California or the State where you will be working.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some help in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It might also indicate that the school has a substantial network of Arden Arcade CA business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Arden Arcade CA colleges you are evaluating and find out what type of support they offer. A number of interior design colleges provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Various schools offer partial scholarships while others provide help in obtaining federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.

How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Arden Arcade CA programs you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Arden Arcade home, go to the campus and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior design college you enroll in provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while going to school. 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 attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative as well. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.

Choose the Best Interior Designer School near Arden Arcade California

interior designed kitchen in Arden Arcade CaliforniaPicking the right interior designer college is a critical initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and rewarding occupation. Locating a school where you will receive your training and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a challenging job no matter what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to receive a higher education, there are several things to consider before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. But it is still essential that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design schools so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Arden Arcade California.