Home >> California >> Burbank >> Interior Design Programs


Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Burbank CA

How to Enroll in the Best Interior Design Degree Program

Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer school near Burbank CA, it's time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's important that you receive the proper training to put your talents to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it's very important that you do the proper research in order to assess and compare each college that you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection. But exactly where do you start? Many future students will launch their research by searching for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are important factors when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into account as well. We will discuss 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 cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class alternatives 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 Burbank CA

Many people confuse interior design for interior decoration. The primary distinction between them is the amount of training required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, conducting 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 trained to make work or living areas functional as well as attractive. On many projects they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are two general areas that an interior designer in Burbank CA can specialize in:

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

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

Interior Designer Degree Options

There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to obtain the training needed to start your new career in Burbank CA. Your decision will undoubtedly be influenced by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, make certain to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in some states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum amount of education required to enter the field. They take about two years to complete and programs are offered at a number of California vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 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 degree needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs provide advanced design training after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer options in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are largely for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are normally completed in three to five years.

In order to work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be called for before a candidate can take the licensing exam.

Why Study to Become an Interior Designer?

Burbank 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.

What to Ask Interior Design Programs

After you have chosen the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of evaluating your college options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the campus must be within commuting distance from your Burbank CA home. Obviously if you have decided on attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will limit your options also. 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 issues that you should look at also, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a few concerns that you may want to address with the colleges you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others to help you examine and ultimately choose the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's imperative to verify that the interior design program and college that you select has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are exceptional, it may also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Burbank California employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.

Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States requiring licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore besides providing an exceptional education, the Burbank CA program you select should also provide the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with 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 obtained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some help in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It may also signify that the college has a significant network of Burbank CA business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Available? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Burbank CA colleges you are evaluating and find out what kind of support they provide. A number of interior designer schools offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide support in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Big are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Burbank CA programs you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Burbank home, visit the school and monitor a couple of classes. While there talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior design college you select offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Burbank CA, confirm that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.

Enroll in the Right Interior Designer College near Burbank California

interior designed kitchen in Burbank CaliforniaSelecting the ideal interior designer program is an important first step toward starting your career in this creative and gratifying occupation. Locating a college where you will receive your education and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a difficult task no matter what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to attain an advanced education, there are several factors to think about before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, verify that the design college and program are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. However it is still imperative that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design schools so that you can make the right final selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Burbank California.