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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Banning CA

How to Enroll in the Best Interior Design Degree Program

Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer school near Banning CA, it's time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's imperative that you receive the right training to put your skills to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it's crucial that you perform the proper research in order to evaluate and compare each program that you are considering prior to making your final choice. But where do you begin? Some prospective students will kick off their research by looking for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are key factors when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into account also. We will discuss those topics 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 class options are offered.

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Interior Design vs Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Banning CA

Often people confuse interior decoration for interior design. The principal difference between them is the amount of training required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, doing business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make living or work areas attractive as well as functional. On many occasions they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are two broad categories that an interior designer in Banning CA can specialize in:

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

There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, such as lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui concepts, Banning California interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
 

Interior Designer Degree Options

There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to get the training necessary to start your new career in Banning CA. Your selection will undoubtedly be motivated by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, make certain to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in a number of states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum amount of education required to enter the profession. They take about 2 years to complete and programs are available at a number of California vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can typically obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that provide more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical facets of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced design training after achieving a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives in specialty majors for such things 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 programs are mostly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 years.

To work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be called for before an applicant can take the licensing examination.

Online Interior Design Degree Programs

Banning CA student attending interior design school onlineFor students who wish to study in the comfort of their Banning CA homes, there are online accredited interior design programs. Attending classes online can be a good alternative for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make attending 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 programs may be the sole alternative if no interior design schools are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Additional expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated also. Just be sure that the college you pick is accredited by a respected 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 learning. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the ideal alternative for you.

Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Programs

Once you have chosen the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of analyzing your college options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the school must be within commuting distance from your Banning CA home. Naturally if you are interested in 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 options as well. But picking the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to home are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you should look at as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Following 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 examine and ultimately pick the right degree program.

Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's imperative to verify that the interior designer school and program that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. 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 undergone an extensive assessment of their teachers and programs. 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 school and the quality of the education are outstanding, it might also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Banning California employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.

Does the School Prep 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 school. And in several of those States mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from furnishing an excellent education, the Banning CA program you select should also provide the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for California or the State where you will be working.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will probably want some help in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It might also indicate that the school has a significant network of Banning CA business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Banning CA colleges you are looking at and ask what kind of assistance they offer. A number of interior design colleges offer financial aid to their incoming students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide support in obtaining grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Banning CA schools you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Banning home, go to the college and monitor a couple of classes. While there speak with a few 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 Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior design school you choose provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Banning CA, make certain that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.

Enroll in the Right Interior Designer School near Banning California

interior designed kitchen in Banning CaliforniaPicking the ideal interior designer college is an important initial step toward launching your career in this creative and gratifying profession. Locating a college where you will obtain your education and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult task regardless of what major you have selected. As with any endeavor to acquire an advanced education, there are many things to consider before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the design college and program are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. However it is still essential that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the right final selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Banning California.