How to Pick the Best Interior Designer School near San Marino California
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer degree program near San Marino 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 important that you get the right training to put your talents to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it’s vital that you carry out the proper research in order to analyze and compare each school that you are reviewing before you make your final decision. But where do you start? Many potential students will kick off their research by looking for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are relevant variables when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into account also. We will cover those issues and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class choices are offered.
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Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design
Some people mistake interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The main difference between them is the level of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. 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 living or work areas attractive as well as functional. On various projects they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad areas that an interior designer in San Marino CA can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently 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 specific room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers often concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the main consideration.
There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. 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 including Feng shui concepts, San Marino CA interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
Interior Designer Training Programs
There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to acquire the training required to begin your new profession in San Marino CA. Your decision will undoubtedly be driven by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, be sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in some states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum amount of education required to enter the field. They take about two years to finish and programs are offered at a number of California vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative components of the business required to become a designer. They are the minimum 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 furnish advanced training in design after attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide alternatives in specialized majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are mostly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are usually completed in three to five years.
In order to work as a professional and use the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be called for before an applicant can take the licensing examination.
Online Interior Designer Schools
For anyone wishing’ to study in the comfort of their San Marino CA homes, there are online accredited interior design schools. Studying online can be a great solution for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For many students online programs may be the only option if no interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Additional expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated also. Just make certain that the school you pick is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the discipline to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the perfect option for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Schools
Once you have selected the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of reviewing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the campus must be within driving distance from your San Marino CA home. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will decrease your choices also. But selecting the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other things that you should consider as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a list of questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are considering to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and subsequently select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It’s necessary to verify that the interior design school and program that you select has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. 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 assessment of their teachers and programs. Just verify 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 outstanding, it may also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of San Marino CA employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do require 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 college. And in several of those States mandating licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required also. So in addition to providing an outstanding education, the San Marino CA school you enroll in should also provide the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for California or the State where you will be working.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design field and its graduates are in demand. It could also indicate that the college has a sizable network of San Marino CA business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial aid departments for the San Marino CA colleges you are evaluating and ask what type of assistance they provide. A number of interior designer colleges provide financial aid to their incoming students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide support in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the San Marino CA programs you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your San Marino home, visit the school and sit in on a couple of classes. While there talk with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior designer program you enroll in offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near San Marino CA, verify that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Interior Design Online Colleges San Marino CA
Selecting the right interior design program is a crucial initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and gratifying profession. Finding a college where you will obtain your education and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a challenging task no matter what major you have selected. As with any endeavor to attain a higher education, there are many things to consider before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Interior Design Online Colleges and wanted more info on the topic Interior Design Course. But 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 effectively evaluate and compare interior design programs so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in San Marino CA.
Other California Designer Locations
San Marino, California
The city takes its name from the ancient Republic of San Marino, founded by Saint Marinus who fled his home in Dalmatia (modern Croatia) at the time of the Diocletianic Persecution of Christians. Marinus took refuge at Monte Titano on the Italian peninsula, where he built a chapel and founded a monastic community in 301 A.D. The state which grew from the monastery is the world's oldest surviving republic.
The seal of the City of San Marino, California is modeled on that of the republic, depicting the Three Towers of San Marino each capped with a bronze plume, surrounded by a heart-shaped scroll with two roundels and a lozenge (of unknown significance) at the top. The crown representing the monarchy on the original was replaced with five stars representing the five members of the City's governing body. Beneath the city's seal are crossed palm fronds and orange branches. Note that other than the city's use of the name and copy of the Republic of San Marino seal there is absolutely no historical connection between them.
The city celebrated its centennial in 2013, including publication by the San Marino Historical Society of a 268-page book, San Marino, A Centennial History, by Elizabeth Pomeroy. In September 2014, this book and author Elizabeth Pomeroy received a prestigious Award of Merit for Leadership in History from the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH).
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