Online School Interior Design Santa Monica CA

How to Enroll in the Best Interior Design Program near Santa Monica California

Santa Monica CA residential designed kitchenNow that you have decided to enroll in an interior design degree program near Santa Monica 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 spaces, it’s imperative that you obtain the appropriate training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it’s vital that you do the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each program that you are looking at before you make your ultimate selection. But just where do you begin? Many prospective students will launch their research by looking for interior design courses near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are relevant factors when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation must be considered as well. We will discuss those topics and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But before we do, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class alternatives are available.

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Interior Decoration and Interior Design

Santa Monica CA commercial designed board roomMany people mistake interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The main distinction between them is the amount of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, conducting business as an interior designer requires formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or living spaces attractive as well as functional. On various occasions they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Santa Monica CA may specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers frequently concentrate predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal 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 banks and hospitals may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the main concern.

There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, including color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui principles, Santa Monica CA interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that contribute to their final designs.

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Interior Designer Degree Options

Santa Monica CA interior designed bathroomThere are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to receive the training needed to start your new profession in Santa Monica CA. Your selection will undoubtedly be motivated by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in some states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum level of training needed to enter the field. They take about two years to finish and programs are available at numerous California trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that supply more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical components of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master’s Degree. These two year programs supply advanced design training after achieving the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide choices 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 the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are mostly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are usually completed in three to five years.

To work professionally and use the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be called for before an applicant can take the licensing exam.

Interior Designer Online Degree Programs

Santa Monica CA student attending online Interior Design CourseFor anyone wishing’ to study in the convenience of their Santa Monica CA homes, there are online accredited interior design degrees. Attending classes online can be a great option for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For many students online colleges may be the sole option if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Added expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated also. Just be sure that the college you enroll in is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the ideal option for you.

Topics to Ask Interior Design Schools

Questions to ask Santa Monica CA interior design schoolsNow that you have selected the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of assessing your college options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the campus needs to be within commuting distance from your Santa Monica CA residence. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But picking the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your house are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you should consider as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following 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 ultimately pick the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It’s imperative to verify that the interior designer program and college that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment of their programs and instructors. Just verify that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are excellent, it may also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Santa Monica CA employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.

Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required also. So in addition to providing an exceptional education, the Santa Monica CA school you choose should also furnish the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for California or the State where you will be working.

What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some help in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It could also signify that the college has a significant network of Santa Monica CA business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.

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

How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Santa Monica CA programs you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Santa Monica home, visit the college 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 approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior designer college you select offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Santa Monica CA, verify that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an option also. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.

Online School Interior Design Santa Monica CA

beautifully designed Santa Monica CA homePicking the ideal interior designer program is an important first step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding profession. Locating a school where you will obtain your training and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a difficult job no matter what field you have decided on. As with any endeavor to receive a higher education, there are a number of things to consider before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, verify that the design college and program are both accredited and highly esteemed in the business. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Online School Interior Design and wanted more info on the topic Interior Design Education. However it is still important that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the right final selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Santa Monica CA.

Other California Designer Locations

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    Santa Monica, California

    Santa Monica (Spanish: Santa Mónica; Spanish for Saint Monica) is a beachfront city in western Los Angeles County, California, United States. Situated on Santa Monica Bay, it is bordered on three sides by the city of Los Angeles – Pacific Palisades to the north, Brentwood on the northeast, West Los Angeles on the east, Mar Vista on the southeast, and Venice on the south. The 2010 U.S. Census population was 89,736.

    Due in part to an agreeable climate, Santa Monica became a famed resort town by the early 20th century. The city has experienced a boom since the late 1980s through the revitalization of its downtown core, significant job growth and increased tourism. The Santa Monica Pier and Pacific Park remain popular destinations.[12]

    Santa Monica was long inhabited by the Tongva people. Santa Monica was called Kecheek in the Tongva language.[13] The first non-indigenous group to set foot in the area was the party of explorer Gaspar de Portolà, who camped near the present-day intersection of Barrington and Ohio Avenues on August 3, 1769. Named after the Christian saint Monica, there are two different accounts of how the city's name came to be. One says it was named in honor of the feast day of Saint Monica (mother of Saint Augustine), but her feast day is May 4. Another version says it was named by Juan Crespí on account of a pair of springs, the Kuruvungna Springs (Serra Springs), that were reminiscent of the tears Saint Monica shed over her son's early impiety.[14]

     

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