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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Banning CA

How to Choose the Right Interior Design Course

Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design degree program near Banning CA, it's time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's important that you get the right training to put your talents to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's essential that you perform the proper research so that you can assess and compare each program that you are reviewing before you make your final choice. But where do you start? Some prospective students will kick off their research by searching for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are important variables when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation need to be taken into consideration as well. We will cover those issues and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are interested in 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 choices are offered.

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Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design

interior designed living room in Banning CA

Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design. The principal difference between them is the level of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, 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 as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or residential areas functional as well as attractive. On many projects 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 basically any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers normally focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over looks as the main concern.

There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, including color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui principles, Banning California interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final creations.
 

Interior Designer Degrees

There are four degree options offered in interior design to get the training required to start your new profession in Banning CA. Your decision will undoubtedly be influenced by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in a number of states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum level of training needed to enter the profession. They take approximately two years to complete and programs are offered 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 deliver more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative aspects of the business required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced training in design after achieving the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialized 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 largely for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are generally completed in 3 to 5 years.

To work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be called for before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.

What to Ask Interior Designer Colleges

Banning California interior designer bathroomNow that you have decided on the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of reviewing your school options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the college must be within commuting distance from your Banning CA residence. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will limit your options as well. But selecting the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to home are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other things that you need to consider also, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and ultimately pick the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's important to make sure that the interior designer college and program that you select has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment of their instructors and programs. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college 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 exceptional, it may also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Banning California employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.

Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required as well. So aside from providing an exceptional education, the Banning CA program you choose should also furnish the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for California or the State where you will be employed.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will no doubt need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It could also indicate that the college has a sizable network of Banning CA business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Contact the financial aid offices for the Banning CA schools you are reviewing and ask what type of support they offer. A number of interior designer schools provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide help in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Banning CA colleges you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient 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 styles are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior design college you choose offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Banning CA, verify that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.

Enroll in the Best Interior Designer Program near Banning California

interior designed kitchen in Banning CaliforniaChoosing the ideal interior designer school is a crucial first step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding occupation. Searching for a college where you will receive your education and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a daunting job no matter what field you have chosen. As with any undertaking to receive a higher education, there are many things to consider before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. However it is still essential that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design programs so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Banning California.