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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Banning CA

How to Select the Right Interior Designer School

Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Banning CA, it's time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's essential that you obtain the proper training to put your skills to work. And since several states do require 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 essential that you perform the proper research so that you can evaluate and compare each college that you are reviewing before you make your ultimate choice. But exactly where do you begin? Many potential students will launch their research by searching for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are important factors when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation need to be considered also. We will cover those topics and other crucial questions that you should be asking 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 choices are offered.

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Interior Design and Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Banning CA

Many people confuse interior design for interior decoration. The main difference between the two is the level of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, working as an interior designer requires a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or living spaces attractive as well as functional. On various occasions they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Banning CA can specialize in:

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

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

Interior Design Degrees

There are 4 degree options available in interior design to obtain the training required to start your new profession in Banning CA. Your choice will undoubtedly be motivated by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in several states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum amount of training required to enter the field. They take approximately two years to finish and programs are offered at numerous California community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level employment 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 facets of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced design training after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer options in specialty majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are primarily for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.

In order to work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be called for before a candidate can take the licensing examination.

Why Train to Become an Interior Designer?

Banning 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.

Topics to Ask Interior Designer Colleges

Once you have decided on the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of reviewing your college options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the campus must be within commuting distance from your Banning CA residence. Naturally if you have decided on attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will decrease your options also. But selecting the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you need to look at as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a few questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are considering to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you examine and subsequently select the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's imperative to confirm that the interior design college and program that you select 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 obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive evaluation of their programs and teachers. 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 education are excellent, it might also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Banning California employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.

Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore in addition to furnishing an exceptional education, the Banning CA school you select should also furnish the proper education to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for California or the State where you will be working.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some support in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its students are sought after. It might also indicate that the school has a large network of Banning CA business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Banning CA schools you are reviewing and find out what type of assistance they offer. Many of interior designer schools provide financial aid to their incoming students. Various schools provide partial scholarships while others provide help in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Banning CA schools you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Banning home, visit the campus and attend a few classes. While there talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior designer school you select offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only go to 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, check that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.

Enroll in the Best Interior Designer College near Banning California

interior designed kitchen in Banning CaliforniaPicking the right interior design school is a critical first step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding occupation. Searching for a college where you will obtain your training and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a difficult job regardless of what field you have decided on. As with any endeavor to attain an advanced education, there are many points to consider before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. However it is still imperative that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design programs so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Banning California.