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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Banning CA

How to Find the Right Interior Designer College

Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design school near Banning 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 imperative that you get the right training to put your skills to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it's very important that you carry out the proper research in order to analyze and compare each program that you are considering before you make your final decision. But just where do you begin? Many 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 key issues when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into account as well. We will cover those topics and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training options are available.

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Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Banning CA

Often people confuse interior decoration for interior design. The key distinction between them is the level of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. However, working as an interior designer requires formal training 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 living or work spaces attractive as well as functional. On various occasions they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are two broad areas that an interior designer in Banning CA may specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers frequently focus predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For instance, 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 appearance as the primary concern.

There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, including lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. They must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui principles, Banning California interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
 

Interior Design Degree Options

There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to receive the training needed to start your new career in Banning CA. Your selection will no doubt be driven by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, be sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in several states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum amount of training needed to enter the field. They take about 2 years to complete and programs are offered at many California community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that supply more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative components of the business required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs supply advanced design training after achieving a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer choices in specialty majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are largely for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary in length but are typically completed in three to five years.

To work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be needed before an applicant can take the licensing exam.

Topics to Ask Interior Design Schools

Banning California interior designer bathroomWhen you have selected the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the task of reviewing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the school must be within driving distance from your Banning CA residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will limit your choices also. But picking the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other variables 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 ask the schools you are considering to get those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and subsequently choose the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's essential to verify that the interior designer program and college that you enroll in has been accredited by either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous evaluation 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it might also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Banning California employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.

Does the Program Ready 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 in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required also. So aside from providing an excellent education, the Banning CA school you enroll in should also provide the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for California or the State where you will be working.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will probably need some help in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job placement 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 held in high regard within the interior design field and its graduates are in demand. It may also signify that the college has a substantial network of Banning CA business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Available? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Banning CA colleges you are evaluating and find out what type of aid they offer. A number of interior design schools provide financial aid to their new students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships while others provide support in obtaining federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Big are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Banning CA schools you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Banning home, go to the school and monitor a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior design program you enroll in provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while going to school. 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, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.

Choose the Right Interior Designer Program near Banning California

interior designed kitchen in Banning CaliforniaSelecting the ideal interior designer program is an important first step toward launching your career in this artistic and rewarding profession. Finding a school where you will obtain your training and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a daunting job no matter what field you have selected. As with any undertaking to attain a higher education, there are several things to consider before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, verify that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. But it is still essential that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Banning California.