Home >> California >> Buena Park >> Interior Design Courses Online


Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Buena Park CA

How to Choose the Best Interior Design Course

Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design degree program near Buena Park CA, it's time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's essential that you get the proper training to put your skills 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 vital that you carry out the appropriate research in order to assess and compare each program that you are looking at before you make your final selection. But exactly where do you begin? Many potential students will start their research by searching for interior design courses near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are relevant variables when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation need to be taken into account as well. We will cover those topics and other vital questions that you must ask 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 choices are available.

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

Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design

interior designed living room in Buena Park CA

Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design. The key 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 spaces. However, working as an interior designer requires a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or living spaces attractive as well as functional. On some occasions they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Buena Park CA may specialize in:

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

There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, for example lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui principles, Buena Park California interior designers employ a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
 

Interior Design Training Programs

There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to get the training necessary to launch your new career in Buena Park CA. Your decision will undoubtedly be driven by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, make certain to pick 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 addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum level of education needed to enter the field. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are offered at a number of California vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can usually obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that supply more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative aspects 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 position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs provide advanced training in design after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer choices in specialty majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are largely for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are generally completed in 3 to 5 years.

In order to work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be needed before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.

Why Train to Become an Interior Designer?

Buena Park CA student attending interior design school onlineThere are many options available to you once you graduate and enter the field of interior design.  If you’ve got an entrepreneurial spirit you may become self-employed and open your own interior design shop. You might also work for a small or larger design firm. Designers have careers creating interiors for businesses, hospitals, government buildings, as well as private residences. Rarely is a design career a 9 to 5 job. You’ll need to be flexible, patient, and persistent to get your career off the ground. But you will have the opportunity to earn an attractive income as well as the personal satisfaction of creating beautiful living and working spaces.

Topics to Ask Interior Design Schools

Now that you have chosen the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the college must be within driving distance from your Buena Park CA home. Naturally if you have decided on attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will limit your choices as well. But choosing the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your house are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other things that you should look at also, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a few questions that you may want to ask the schools you are looking at to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you assess and subsequently select the right degree program.

Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's necessary to verify that the interior design program and school that you select has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are outstanding, it might also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Buena Park California employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.

Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States mandating licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore aside from furnishing an exceptional education, the Buena Park CA college you choose should also furnish the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for California or the State where you will be working.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will probably need some help in finding your first position. 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 high rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It might also indicate that the college has a large network of Buena Park CA business connections where they can place students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Buena Park CA schools you are looking at and find out what kind of aid they offer. A number of interior design programs provide financial aid to their incoming students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide support in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Buena Park CA schools you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Buena Park home, go to the campus and monitor a few classes. While there speak with a few students and ask 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? Finally, confirm that the interior design school you enroll in provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Buena Park CA, verify that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Choose the Right Interior Designer Program near Buena Park California

interior designed kitchen in Buena Park CaliforniaChoosing the right interior designer school is a critical first step toward starting your career in this creative and fulfilling occupation. Finding a school where you will receive your training and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a difficult job regardless of what major you have decided on. As with any endeavor to receive a higher education, there are a number of points to think about before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, check that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the business. However it is still imperative that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Buena Park California.