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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Banning CA

How to Find the Best Interior Design Course

Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design school near Banning CA, it's time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's imperative that you receive the proper training to put your talents to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's crucial that you perform the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each program that you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection. But where do you start? A number of future students will begin their research by looking for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are relevant factors when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation must be taken into consideration also. We will discuss those topics and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are offered.

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Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Banning CA

Often people mistake interior design for interior decoration. The primary distinction between the two is the amount of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make living or work spaces functional as well as attractive. On various projects they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Banning CA may specialize in:

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

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

Interior Designer Degree Programs

There are four degree options 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 as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in some states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum level of education needed to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to finish and programs are available at numerous California vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative aspects of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced design training after achieving the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialty majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are primarily for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.

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

Questions to Ask Interior Designer Programs

Banning California interior designer bathroomAfter you have selected the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of analyzing your school options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the school needs to be within commuting distance from your Banning CA residence. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will limit your options also. But picking the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you should consider also, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a few questions that you may want to address with the schools you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others to help you assess and ultimately choose the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's imperative to confirm that the interior designer program and college that you choose has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous evaluation 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Banning California employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.

Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of 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 college. And in some of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from furnishing an exceptional education, the Banning CA program you enroll in should also provide the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill 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 no doubt need some help in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It may also signify that the college has a substantial network of Banning CA business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Banning CA schools you are looking at and ask what kind of aid they provide. Many of interior design colleges offer financial assistance to their new students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide help in obtaining federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide 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 may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Banning CA programs you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Banning home, visit the school and sit in on a few classes. While there talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior design program you select provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Banning CA, make sure that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option also. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.

Enroll in the Best Interior Designer School near Banning California

interior designed kitchen in Banning CaliforniaPicking the ideal interior designer program is a critical initial step toward launching your career in this creative and fulfilling occupation. Finding a school where you will receive your training and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult job no matter what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to receive an advanced education, there are a number of points to think about before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. But it is still essential that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Banning California.