How to Select the Right Interior Design College Antioch 94509
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design college near Antioch CA, it’s time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial spaces, it’s essential that you receive the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it’s very important that you carry out the proper research so that you can evaluate and compare each school that you are reviewing prior to making your final decision. But where do you begin? Many prospective students will begin their research by searching for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are important factors when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into consideration as well. We will discuss those issues and other vital questions that you must ask 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 training alternatives are available.
Interior Decoration vs Interior Design
Many people mistake interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The primary distinction between the two is the amount of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. However, working as an interior designer necessitates formal training 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 functional as well as attractive. On many occasions they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are two broad categories that an interior designer in Antioch CA can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any room of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public areas, designers often concentrate primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might concentrate more on functionality over looks as the main concern.
There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, including lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Antioch CA interior designers employ a wide range of skills that help bring about their final designs.
Interior Designer Degrees
There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to obtain the training needed to start your new profession in Antioch CA. Your choice will undoubtedly be driven by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted 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) exam required in some states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum level of training needed to enter the profession. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are available at many California community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical aspects of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced design training after attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer alternatives in specialty majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are mainly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are generally 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 schools become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be called for before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.
Online Interior Designer Colleges
For anyone wishing’ to study in the comfort of their Antioch CA homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Studying online can be a great option for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make attending 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 only alternative if no interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper 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 college you choose is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, 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 dedication to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the right alternative for you.
What to Ask Interior Design Programs
When you have chosen the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of analyzing your school options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the college needs to be within driving distance from your Antioch CA residence. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will limit your choices also. But picking the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to home are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you need to look at also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the program. Below are a few questions that you may want to address with the schools you are considering to get those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and subsequently pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It’s essential to confirm that the interior designer school and program that you select has been accredited by 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 receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive assessment of their programs and instructors. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are outstanding, it might also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Antioch CA employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would require 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, at least 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. So in addition to providing an outstanding education, the Antioch CA college you choose should also provide the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for California or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It could also indicate that the college has a significant network of Antioch CA business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Antioch CA colleges you are looking at and find out what type of aid they offer. A number of interior design programs provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships while others provide help in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Antioch CA schools you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Antioch home, visit the college and sit in on a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior design college you choose offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Antioch CA, confirm that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Enrolling in an Interior Design School near Antioch CA?
Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the Antioch California area. If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.
Antioch (formerly, East Antioch, Smith's Landing, and Marshs Landing) is the second largest city in Contra Costa County, California, United States. Located in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area along the San Joaquin-Sacramento River Delta, it is a suburb of San Francisco and Oakland. The city's population was 102,372 at the 2010 census and estimated to be 110,542 in 2015.
Antioch is one of the oldest towns in California. In 1848, John Marsh, owner of Rancho Los Meganos, one of the largest ranches in California, built a landing on the San Joaquin River in what is now Antioch. It became known as Marsh's Landing, and was the shipping point for the 17,000-acre rancho. It included a pier extending well out into the river, enabling vessels drawing 15 feet of water to tie up there at any season of the year. The landing also included a slaughterhouse, smokehouse for curing hams, rodeo grounds, and even a 1½-story dwelling, embellished with fretwork, that was brought around the Horn to serve as a home for the mayordomo (manager) and his wife.
In 1850, two brothers, William and Joseph Smith, founded a town slightly west of Marsh's Landing, and named it Smith's Landing. In 1851, the town's new minister persuaded the residents to change the name of the town to Antioch, for the biblical city of Antioch.
Pick the Right Interior Design School near Antioch CA
Choosing the right interior designer program is an important first step toward launching your career in this artistic and rewarding profession. Searching for a college where you will receive your education and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a difficult job no matter what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to acquire a higher education, there are a number of factors 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 profession. You originally came upon this website because you had an initial interest in Best Interior Design Courses. However it is still essential that you carry out your due diligence research. 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 right final selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Antioch CA.
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