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


Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Brea CA

How to Pick the Right Interior Designer Course

Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Brea CA, it's time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's important that you receive the right training to put your talents to work. And since several states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's very important that you do the proper research in order to evaluate and compare each college that you are considering before you make your ultimate selection. But exactly where do you start? Some future students will kick off their research by searching for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are important variables when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to be considered as well. We will address those issues and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class 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 Brea CA

Many people confuse interior design for interior decoration. The key difference between them is the level of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. However, doing business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education 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 work together with architects and building engineers. There are two broad areas that an interior designer in Brea CA may specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Design. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers frequently concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.

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

Interior Design Degree Programs

There are 4 degree options available in interior design to acquire the training required to start your new profession in Brea CA. Your decision will undoubtedly be influenced by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, be sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in some states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum level of training required to enter the profession. They take about two years to complete and programs are available at numerous California community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can normally 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 deal with the creative and technical components of the business required to become a designer. They are the minimum 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 furnish advanced design training after achieving a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialty majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mainly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ 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", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be needed before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.

Interior Designer Online Schools

Brea CA student attending interior design school onlineFor anyone wishing to attend classes in the comfort of their Brea CA homes, there are accredited online interior design programs. Studying online can be a good alternative for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For some students online schools may be the only alternative if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Additional costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the school you pick is accredited by a respected accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the dedication to obtain your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the right option for you.

Topics to Ask Interior Designer Colleges

After you have decided on the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of reviewing your school options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the college must be within commuting distance from your Brea CA residence. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will limit your options as well. But choosing the least expensive school or the one that is closest to home are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you need to look at also, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a few questions that you may want to address with the schools you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and subsequently select the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's necessary to make sure that the interior design college and program that you select has been accredited by 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 a rigorous evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are outstanding, it may also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Brea California employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.

Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do require 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 calling for licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore aside from providing an exceptional education, the Brea CA program you enroll in should also provide the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet 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 designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some help in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It may also signify that the school has a substantial network of Brea CA business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Brea CA colleges you are evaluating and find out what type of aid they offer. Many of interior designer colleges offer financial aid to their new students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships and others provide help in acquiring federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Brea CA programs you are reviewing what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Brea home, visit the college and monitor 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 backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior design program you select provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Brea CA, make sure that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.

Enroll in the Right Interior Designer College near Brea California

interior designed kitchen in Brea CaliforniaChoosing the ideal interior designer college is an important initial step toward launching your career in this creative and rewarding occupation. Locating a college where you will obtain your education and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a daunting job no matter what major you have decided on. As with any endeavor to attain an advanced education, there are several things to think about before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the field. But it is still essential that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the right final selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Brea California.