How to Find the Best Interior Designer School near Surfside California
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design college near Surfside CA, it’s time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it’s essential that you obtain the appropriate training to put your skills to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it’s essential that you perform the appropriate research in order to assess and compare each school that you are considering prior to making your final decision. But just where do you start? A number of future students will kick off their research by searching for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are important factors when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation should be considered as well. We will discuss those topics and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But first, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class choices are available.
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Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration
Often people confuse interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The main distinction between the two is the amount of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, working as an interior designer necessitates 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 areas attractive as well as functional. On some projects they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are two broad categories that an interior designer in Surfside CA can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers often 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, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public areas, designers normally focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the main concern.
There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, including lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. They 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 including Feng shui concepts, Surfside CA interior designers employ a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
Interior Design Degree Programs
There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to acquire the training needed to begin your new profession in Surfside CA. Your decision will undoubtedly be motivated by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in several states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum amount of education required to enter the profession. They take approximately two years to finish and programs are available at a number of California vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can usually obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that supply more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative aspects of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs provide advanced training in design after achieving the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer 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 their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mainly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are generally completed in three to five years.
To work professionally and use the title of “Interior Designer”, many states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be required before a candidate can take the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Degree Programs
For those who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their Surfside CA homes, there are online accredited interior design programs. Attending classes online can be a great option for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For some students online programs may be the sole alternative if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Added costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the program you pick is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Interior Designer Programs
When you have selected the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of evaluating your college options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the campus needs to be within driving distance from your Surfside CA residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will limit your choices as well. But choosing the cheapest college or the one that is closest to your house are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you should look at as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Following are a few questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others to help you assess and ultimately choose the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It’s important to verify that the interior designer program and college that you enroll in 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 undergone a rigorous evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just confirm that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Surfside CA employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several 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 some of those States calling for licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from providing an outstanding education, the Surfside CA college you enroll in should also provide the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for California or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will probably want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It may also indicate that the school has a sizable network of Surfside CA business connections where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Surfside CA colleges you are reviewing and ask what kind of support they provide. A number of interior designer programs offer financial aid to their new students. Various schools provide partial scholarships and others provide help in acquiring grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Surfside CA schools you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Surfside home, go to the school and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior designer program you enroll in provides 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 in the evening or on weekends near Surfside CA, make certain that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Interior Design Major Surfside CA
Picking the right interior designer program is a crucial initial step toward launching your career in this creative and gratifying profession. Locating a school where you will receive your training and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a challenging task no matter what major you have chosen. As with any undertaking to receive a higher education, there are many things to consider before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Interior Design Major and wanted more info on the topic Classes For Interior Design. However it is still imperative that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design schools so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Surfside CA.
Other California Designer Locations
Surfside (or Surfside Colony) is a small gated community with three rows of houses, lettered A, B, and C. Surfside is part of the city of Seal Beach, California and is located on the west side of Pacific Coast Highway, southwest of the Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach between the station and the Huntington Beach community of Sunset Beach. It is also near the Huntington Beach community of Huntington Harbour. The southern entrance to the Surfside Colony is easy to spot by the water tower (which was built into a house) that can be seen from Pacific Coast Highway.
The Surfside Colony is served by the Surfside Colony Community Services Tax District and the Surfside Colony Storm Water Protection Tax District. Lifeguard services are provided by the city of Seal Beach.
Surfside Colony was begun in 1929 as an oceanside resort community. It was incorporated with the state of California in 1930. There were originally plans to develop both sides of Pacific Coast Highway (with D and E rows of houses on the east side), but these plans never materialized. A tunnel, which still exists though it is inaccessible, was built under Pacific Coast Highway to facilitate easy transit back and forth.
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