Home >> California >> Azusa >> Interior Design Schools


Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Azusa CA

How to Find the Right Interior Designer School

Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design college near Azusa 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 spaces, it's important that you get the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it's vital that you perform the appropriate research so that you can analyze and compare each program that you are reviewing before you make your ultimate decision. But where do you start? Many potential students will launch their research by searching for interior design courses near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are relevant issues when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation must be taken into consideration as well. We will cover those topics 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 training alternatives are offered.

Start Your Interior Design Career By Requesting Free Info on Local Schools Below

Interior Decoration and Interior Design

interior designed living room in Azusa CA

Many people confuse interior design for interior decoration. The primary distinction between them is the level of education required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, doing business 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 spaces attractive as well as functional. On various projects they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Azusa CA can specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any area of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Designing. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers normally focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.

There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, such as color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui concepts, Azusa California interior designers implement a wide range of skills that contribute to their final designs.
 

Interior Designer Degree Programs

There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to get the training required to start your new profession in Azusa 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 no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, be sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in a number of states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum amount of education needed to enter the profession. They take approximately two years to finish and programs are available at numerous California community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical facets of the trade 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 attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives in specialty 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. Doctorate programs are mainly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are typically completed in three to five years.

In order to work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be called for before an applicant can take the licensing exam.

Online Interior Design Classes

Azusa CA student attending interior design school onlineFor students who wish to study in the convenience of their Azusa CA homes, there are accredited online interior design degrees. Studying online can be an excellent solution for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For a number of students online programs may be the sole alternative if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Added costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the program you enroll in is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the dedication to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the right option for you.

Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Programs

After you have decided on the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of reviewing your college options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your Azusa CA home. Naturally if you are interested in attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will decrease your choices also. But choosing the most affordable school or the one that is closest to your house are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other things that you need to look at also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the program. Below are a few questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are looking at to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you assess and ultimately pick the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's necessary to confirm that the interior design program and school that you enroll in has earned accreditation from 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). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment of their instructors and programs. Just make sure 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 verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Azusa California employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.

Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from providing an exceptional education, the Azusa CA school you enroll in should also furnish the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for California or the State where you will be employed.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will probably want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It could also indicate that the college has a substantial network of Azusa CA business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Azusa CA schools you are evaluating and find out what type of support they provide. Many of interior designer programs provide financial aid to their incoming students. Some schools provide partial scholarships and others provide support in acquiring federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Azusa CA programs you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Azusa home, visit the campus and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior design school you select offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Azusa CA, verify that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative as well. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Enroll in the Best Interior Designer College near Azusa California

interior designed kitchen in Azusa CaliforniaChoosing the ideal interior designer school is a critical first step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding profession. Searching for a school where you will receive your training and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting task regardless of what field you have selected. As with any endeavor to attain a higher education, there are a number of factors to think about before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. But it is still essential that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design schools so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Azusa California.