How to Pick the Best Interior Designer Degree Program near Orange California
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer school near Orange CA, it’s time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial spaces, it’s imperative that you get the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it’s crucial that you do the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each school that you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate choice. But where do you begin? Some prospective students will launch their research by searching for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are key factors when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be considered as well. We will address those issues and other crucial questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But first, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are offered.
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Interior Decoration and Interior Design
Many people mistake interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The key 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 skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, working as an interior designer requires a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or residential spaces attractive as well as functional. On various occasions they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are two general areas that an interior designer in Orange CA can 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, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public areas, designers frequently focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over looks as the main consideration.
There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui concepts, Orange CA interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
Interior Designer Degree Options
There are four degree options available in interior design to acquire the training needed to begin your new career in Orange CA. Your selection will no doubt be motivated by your career objectives as well as the money and time that you have to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in some states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum amount of training needed to enter the field. They take about two years to finish and programs are offered at a number of California trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that provide more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative components of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced training in design after achieving the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer choices in specialty 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. Doctorate programs are largely for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work as a professional and use 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 an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Schools
For individuals who wish to study in the comfort of their Orange CA homes, there are accredited online interior design degrees. Studying online can be a good solution for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For a number of students online programs may be the sole option if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Additional expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the school you select is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the dedication to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the perfect alternative for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Programs
Once you have chosen the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the college must be within driving distance from your Orange CA residence. Of course 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 fee for tuition will limit your options as well. But choosing the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you should consider as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a few concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you examine and subsequently choose the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It’s essential to make sure that the interior designer program and school that you choose has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding assessment 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 recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Orange CA employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do mandate that interior designers become 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 some of those States mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. So aside from furnishing an exceptional education, the Orange CA program you choose should also furnish the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum requirements for licensing 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 probably need some support in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are looking at 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 school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It might also indicate that the school has a sizable network of Orange CA business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial aid departments for the Orange CA schools you are looking at and find out what type of assistance they offer. A number of interior design colleges provide financial assistance to their new students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide support in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Orange CA schools you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Orange home, go to the campus and sit in on a few classes. While there speak with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior designer school you choose offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Orange CA, make sure that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Colleges For Interior Design Orange CA
Picking the right interior design college is a critical initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and gratifying occupation. Finding a school where you will obtain your education and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a daunting job no matter what major you have chosen. As with any undertaking to attain a higher education, there are a number of points to consider before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the business. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Colleges For Interior Design and wanted more info on the topic Colleges That Offer Interior Design Majors. However it is still important 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 effectively evaluate and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Orange CA.
Other California Designer Locations
Orange is a city located in Orange County, California. It is approximately 3 miles (4.8 kilometers) north of the county seat, Santa Ana. Orange is unusual in this region because many of the homes in its Old Town District were built before 1920. While many other cities in the region demolished such houses in the 1960s, Orange decided to preserve them. The small city of Villa Park is surrounded by the city of Orange. The population was 139,812 as of 2014.
Members of the Tongva and Juaneño/Luiseño ethnic group long inhabited this area. After the 1769 expedition of Gaspar de Portolá, an expedition out of San Blas, Nayarit, Mexico, led by Father Junípero Serra, named the area Vallejo de Santa Ana (Valley of Saint Anne). On November 1, 1776, Mission San Juan Capistrano became the area's first permanent European settlement in Alta California, New Spain.
In 1801, the Spanish Empire granted 62,500 acres (253 km2) to José Antonio Yorba, which he named Rancho San Antonio. Yorba's great rancho included the lands where the cities of Olive, Orange, Villa Park, Santa Ana, Tustin, Costa Mesa and Newport Beach stand today. Smaller ranchos evolved from this large rancho, including the Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana.
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