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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Bakersfield CA

How to Pick the Best Interior Design Course

Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design degree program near Bakersfield CA, it's time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's important that you get the proper training to put your skills to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's very important that you carry out the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each college that you are looking at prior to making your ultimate choice. But exactly where do you begin? Some prospective students will start their research by looking for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are key factors when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into consideration as well. We will cover those topics and other crucial questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let's cover 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

interior designed living room in Bakersfield CA

Many people confuse interior decoration for interior design. The main distinction between them 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. However, doing business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or residential spaces functional as well as attractive. On some occasions they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Bakersfield CA can specialize in:

  • Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any room of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Design. When dealing with public or commercial areas, designers frequently concentrate predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.

There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, for example lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui principles, Bakersfield California interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final designs.
 

Interior Designer Training Programs

There are 4 degree options available in interior design to acquire the training necessary to begin your new profession in Bakersfield CA. Your selection will no doubt be motivated by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, be sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in a number of states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum amount of training needed to enter the field. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are available at a number of California trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that deliver more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative facets of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced training in design after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer options in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are largely for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.

To work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be needed before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.

Why Train to Become an Interior Designer?

Bakersfield CA student attending interior design school onlineThere are many options available to you once you graduate and enter the field of interior design.  If you’ve got an entrepreneurial spirit you may become self-employed and open your own interior design shop. You might also work for a small or larger design firm. Designers have careers creating interiors for businesses, hospitals, government buildings, as well as private residences. Rarely is a design career a 9 to 5 job. You’ll need to be flexible, patient, and persistent to get your career off the ground. But you will have the opportunity to earn an attractive income as well as the personal satisfaction of creating beautiful living and working spaces.

Subjects to Ask Interior Design Schools

Now that you have chosen the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of evaluating your college options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the college must be within driving distance from your Bakersfield CA residence. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will narrow down your options also. But picking the most affordable school or the one that is closest to home are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you need to look at also, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are looking at to get those answers as well as others to help you examine and ultimately select the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the interior designer college and program that you choose has been accredited by either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just make sure that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized 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 obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Bakersfield California employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.

Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, 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 college. And in several of those States calling for licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required also. So besides furnishing an excellent education, the Bakersfield CA college you enroll in should also furnish the appropriate education 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 School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some support in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance 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 esteemed within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It could also signify that the school has a substantial network of Bakersfield CA business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial aid departments for the Bakersfield CA schools you are evaluating and find out what kind of aid they offer. A number of interior designer programs offer financial assistance to their new students. Some schools offer partial scholarships and others provide help in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Bakersfield CA colleges you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Bakersfield home, visit the campus 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 philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior designer college you choose provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Bakersfield CA, make certain that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an option also. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.

Choose the Best Interior Design School near Bakersfield California

interior designed kitchen in Bakersfield CaliforniaChoosing the ideal interior designer program is a crucial initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and rewarding occupation. Searching for a school where you will obtain your training and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a daunting job regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any undertaking to receive an advanced education, there are many factors to think about before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. But it is still imperative that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Bakersfield California.