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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Brea CA

How to Pick the Right Interior Design Course

Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Brea CA, it's time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's important that you obtain the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it's crucial that you carry out the proper research so that you can analyze and compare each school that you are reviewing prior to making your final selection. But just where do you begin? A number of future students will launch their research by looking for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are relevant factors when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to 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 looking at 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 Decoration vs Interior Design

interior designed living room in Brea CA

Often people confuse interior design for interior decoration. The main difference between the two is the level of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer requires formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make living or work areas attractive as well as functional. On some occasions they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Brea CA may specialize in:

  • Residential Designing. 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 particular room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial areas, designers often concentrate predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.

There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Brea California interior designers implement a wide range of skills that help bring about their final designs.
 

Interior Design Degrees

There are four degree options offered in interior design to get the training needed to launch your new profession in Brea CA. Your choice will no doubt be motivated by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in a number of states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • 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 available at a number of California vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can typically obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that deliver more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical facets of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced design training after acquiring a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialized majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are mostly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.

To work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be called for before a candidate can take the licensing examination.

Online Interior Design Degree Programs

Brea CA student attending interior design school onlineFor those who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Brea CA homes, there are online accredited interior design classes. Attending classes online can be a great solution for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For a number of students online colleges may be the sole option if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Additional costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated also. Just make certain that the college you pick is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the discipline to obtain your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the right option for you.

Questions to Ask Interior Designer Schools

Now that you have decided on the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of reviewing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the school needs to be within commuting distance from your Brea CA residence. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will decrease your choices as well. But choosing the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to home are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you need to look at as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a few concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are considering to get those answers as well as others to help you assess and ultimately pick the right degree program.

Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the interior designer school and program that you enroll in has been accredited by either a national or regional organization. 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 gone through a demanding assessment of their programs and instructors. Just confirm 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 school and the quality of the education are outstanding, it may also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Brea California employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges 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 school. And in several of those States requiring licensing, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore besides providing an exceptional education, the Brea CA program you enroll in should also furnish the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for California or the State where you will be working.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some support in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It might also indicate that the school has a sizable network of Brea CA business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Brea CA colleges you are looking at and find out what kind of aid they provide. A number of interior design schools offer financial aid to their new students. Various schools provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Small are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Brea CA colleges you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Brea home, visit the campus and monitor a few classes. While there speak with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior designer school you enroll in provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Brea CA, make sure that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.

Choose the Right Interior Designer Program near Brea California

interior designed kitchen in Brea CaliforniaPicking the right interior designer program is an important initial step toward launching your career in this creative and fulfilling profession. Locating a school where you will receive your training and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a difficult task regardless of what major you have decided on. As with any endeavor to acquire an advanced education, there are many points to consider before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. However it is still essential that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Brea California.