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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Banning CA

How to Select the Best Interior Design Program

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 choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's essential that you obtain the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it's very important that you do the appropriate research in order to analyze and compare each program that you are looking at before you make your final decision. But exactly where do you begin? Many future students will start their research by looking for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are important factors when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into account also. We will discuss those issues and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training options are available.

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Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design

interior designed living room in Banning CA

Some people mistake interior decoration for interior design. The primary difference between them is the level of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or residential areas attractive as well as functional. On some projects they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are two broad categories that an interior designer in Banning CA can specialize in:

  • Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently 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 particular room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Designing. When working on public or commercial areas, designers frequently concentrate primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.

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

Interior Design Degrees

There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to get the training necessary to launch your new profession in Banning CA. Your selection will undoubtedly be influenced by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, be sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in a number of states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum level of training required to enter the field. They take approximately 2 years to complete and programs are offered at a number of California trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level employment 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 degree needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs supply advanced training in design after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialty majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are mostly 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 three to five years.

To work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be called for before an applicant can take the licensing exam.

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.

Questions to Ask Interior Design Programs

When you have selected the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of assessing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the campus needs to be within commuting distance from your Banning CA residence. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will limit your options also. But selecting the most affordable school or the one that is nearest to home are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you need to consider also, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a list of questions that you may want to ask the programs you are looking at to get those answers as well as others to help you examine and ultimately pick the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's imperative to verify that the interior designer college and program that you choose has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding assessment of their programs and teachers. Just verify that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are exceptional, it may 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 hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.

Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do require that interior designers get 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 college. And in some of those States mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from providing an excellent education, the Banning CA program you enroll in should also provide the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy 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 received your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It may also indicate that the school has a significant network of Banning CA business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Banning CA colleges you are evaluating and ask what kind of support they offer. Many of interior design colleges offer financial aid to their new students. Some schools provide partial scholarships and others provide support in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Banning CA programs you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Banning home, visit the school and sit in on a couple of classes. While there talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior designer school you enroll in provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Banning CA, confirm that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.

Enroll in the Right Interior Designer Program near Banning California

interior designed kitchen in Banning CaliforniaChoosing the right interior designer program is a crucial first step toward launching your career in this creative and gratifying occupation. Finding a school where you will receive your education and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a difficult task regardless of what field you have chosen. As with any endeavor to receive a higher education, there are many points 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 respected in the field. But it is still important that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design programs so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Banning California.