Home >> California >> Brea >> Interior Design Schools


Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Brea CA

How to Choose the Best Interior Design Program

Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer school near Brea 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 interiors, it's essential that you receive the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's crucial that you do the appropriate research so that you can analyze and compare each college that you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision. But where do you start? A number of future students will start their research by looking for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are relevant variables when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into consideration as well. We will discuss those topics and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training options are offered.

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

Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design

interior designed living room in Brea CA

Some people confuse interior design for interior decoration. The primary 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, working as an interior designer requires formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make living or work spaces attractive as well as functional. On some projects they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad 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 essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers frequently concentrate predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas 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 various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, including lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Brea California interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
 

Interior Designer Degrees

There are four degree options available in interior design to obtain the training needed to begin your new profession in Brea CA. Your choice will undoubtedly be motivated by your career objectives as well as the money and time that you have to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in a number of states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum level of training required to enter the field. They take about two years to finish and programs are offered at numerous California trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that provide more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical aspects of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs provide advanced design training after acquiring the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide alternatives in specialty majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mostly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are normally completed in three to five years.

To work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be needed before an applicant can take the licensing exam.

Interior Designer Online Colleges

Brea CA student attending interior design school onlineFor students who wish to study in the convenience of their Brea CA homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Attending classes online can be an excellent option for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For a number of students online colleges may be the only alternative if no interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Additional expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated also. Just make certain that the school you pick is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the right option for you.

Subjects to Ask Interior Design Schools

After you have chosen the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of evaluating your school options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the college must be within driving distance from your Brea 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 limit your choices as well. But selecting the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you need to consider also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others to help you assess and ultimately pick the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the interior designer college and program that you choose 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). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive assessment of their teachers 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 organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are exceptional, it may also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Brea California employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.

Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do require that interior designers become 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 some of those States mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. So in addition to providing an outstanding education, the Brea CA program you enroll in should also provide the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for California or the State where you will be employed.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will probably need some support in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It might also indicate that the school has a significant network of Brea CA business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Brea CA schools you are looking at and find out what kind of support they offer. Many of interior design colleges provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Small are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Brea CA schools you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Brea home, go to the campus and attend a few classes. While there talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior designer college you select 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 in the evening or on weekends near Brea CA, make certain that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Enroll in the Best Interior Designer School near Brea California

interior designed kitchen in Brea CaliforniaPicking the ideal interior design school is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and fulfilling occupation. Locating a school where you will receive your training and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting job no matter what field you have decided on. As with any undertaking to acquire a higher education, there are several factors to consider before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. However it is still imperative that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design programs so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Brea California.