Home >> California >> Bakersfield >> Interior Design Degrees Online


Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Bakersfield CA

How to Choose the Best Interior Designer College

Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer school near Bakersfield CA, it's time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's important that you obtain the appropriate training to put your skills to work. And since some 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 very important that you carry out the proper research in order to assess and compare each college that you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision. But just where do you begin? A number of potential students will begin their research by searching for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are important factors when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation must be taken into account as well. We will address those issues and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But before we do, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training choices are available.

Start Your Interior Design Career By Requesting Free Info on Local Schools Below

Interior Decoration and Interior Design

interior designed living room in Bakersfield CA

Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design. The principal distinction between the two is the level of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, doing business as an interior designer requires formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or living spaces functional as well as attractive. On many projects they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are two broad areas that an interior designer in Bakersfield CA may specialize in:

  • Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any room of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers normally concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.

There are numerous areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, including color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Bakersfield California interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
 

Interior Designer Degree Programs

There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to receive the training required to begin your new career in Bakersfield CA. Your decision will no doubt be influenced 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 choose to enroll in, make certain to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in a number of states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum amount of training needed to enter the profession. They take about 2 years to complete and programs are offered at many California trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that supply 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 degree needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced design training after achieving a 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 advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are largely for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are typically 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 called for before an applicant can take the licensing examination.

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 Programs

When you have decided on the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of analyzing your college options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the campus must be within driving distance from your Bakersfield CA residence. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will narrow down your choices also. But picking the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you should look at also, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a few questions that you may want to address with the schools you are looking at to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and subsequently select the right degree program.

Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's imperative to make sure that the interior design program and school that you select has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding assessment of their instructors and programs. Just verify 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 establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are excellent, it may also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Bakersfield California employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.

Does the Program Prepare 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) examination as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required also. So in addition to furnishing an outstanding education, the Bakersfield CA college you choose should also provide the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum licensing requirements for California or the State where you will be employed.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some help in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are looking at 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 held in high esteem within the interior design field and its graduates are in demand. It could also signify that the college has a sizable network of Bakersfield CA business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Bakersfield CA schools you are evaluating and ask what type of support they offer. Many of interior designer programs provide financial aid to their new students. Various schools offer partial scholarships while others provide support in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Big are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Bakersfield CA programs you are reviewing what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Bakersfield home, visit the school and sit in on a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior design school you enroll in provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Bakersfield CA, verify that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.

Enroll in the Right Interior Designer Program near Bakersfield California

interior designed kitchen in Bakersfield CaliforniaChoosing the right interior design school is a critical first step toward launching your career in this artistic and gratifying occupation. Searching for a college where you will obtain your training and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a challenging job regardless of what field you have chosen. As with any endeavor to receive a higher education, there are many points to consider before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, confirm that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the business. But it is still imperative that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Bakersfield California.