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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Azusa CA

How to Enroll in the Best Interior Design Program

Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near Azusa CA, it's time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's essential that you obtain the right training to put your talents to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it's vital that you carry out the appropriate research in order to analyze and compare each school that you are reviewing before you make your final selection. But where do you start? Some future students will begin their research by looking for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are key variables when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation need to be taken into consideration as well. We will address those issues and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But before we do, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class choices are offered.

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Interior Decoration and Interior Design

interior designed living room in Azusa CA

Some people mistake interior design for interior decoration. The primary distinction between the two is the level 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, working as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make living or work spaces functional as well as attractive. On various occasions they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad areas that an interior designer in Azusa 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 kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers normally focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.

There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, including lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui principles, Azusa California interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
 

Interior Designer Degree Programs

There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to acquire the training needed to begin your new profession in Azusa CA. Your choice will no doubt be influenced by your career objectives as well as the money and time that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make certain to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in some states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum amount of training required to enter the field. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are offered at numerous California trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that provide more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative components of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs provide advanced design training after acquiring a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mainly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ 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 require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be needed before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.

Topics to Ask Interior Design Programs

Azusa California interior designer bathroomAfter you have decided on the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of evaluating your college options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the school must be within commuting distance from your Azusa CA residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will limit your choices also. But choosing the most affordable school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you need to consider as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others to help you examine and ultimately choose the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's important to verify that the interior design college and program that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are exceptional, it might also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Azusa California employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.

Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some 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 several of those States requiring licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required also. So in addition to furnishing an outstanding education, the Azusa CA school you select should also furnish the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill 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 obtained your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It may also indicate that the college has a substantial network of Azusa CA business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Azusa CA colleges you are reviewing and find out what type of aid they offer. A number of interior designer colleges provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide support in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Small are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Azusa CA colleges you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Azusa home, go to the school and monitor a couple of classes. While there talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior design program you select offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Azusa CA, confirm that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option also. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.

Choose the Right Interior Designer Program near Azusa California

interior designed kitchen in Azusa CaliforniaSelecting the right interior designer college is an important initial step toward launching your career in this creative and rewarding occupation. Finding a school where you will receive your training and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a challenging task regardless of what major you have decided on. As with any undertaking to acquire an advanced education, there are a number of points to consider before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, verify that the design college and program are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. But it is still imperative 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 properly assess and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Azusa California.