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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Banning CA

How to Find the Right Interior Designer Course

Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Banning CA, it's time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's important that you receive the right training to put your skills to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it's very important that you do the proper research in order to assess and compare each program that you are considering prior to making your final decision. But where do you start? Some future students will launch their research by searching for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are relevant variables when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into consideration also. We will discuss those issues and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class choices are available.

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Interior Design and Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Banning CA

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

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

There are various 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 use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui principles, Banning California interior designers implement a wide range of skills that help bring about their final designs.
 

Interior Design Degree Programs

There are four degree options offered in interior design to receive the training necessary to begin your new career in Banning CA. Your choice will no doubt be motivated by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in several states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum level of training required to enter the field. They take about 2 years to finish and programs are offered at a number of California community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can typically obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical facets of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced design training after acquiring the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer options in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are mainly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 years.

In order to work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be needed before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.

Interior Designer Online Degree Programs

Banning CA student attending interior design school onlineFor students who wish to study in the comfort of their Banning CA homes, there are online accredited interior design colleges. Attending classes online can be a good option for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For some students online colleges may be the sole option if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Additional costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the college you choose is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the ideal option for you.

Topics to Ask Interior Design Programs

Once you have decided on the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of assessing your school options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the campus must be within driving distance from your Banning CA residence. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But selecting the cheapest school or the one that is closest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you should look at as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and subsequently choose the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's important to make sure that the interior design program and school that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive assessment of their teachers 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 verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many 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 require that interior designers get 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 college. And in some of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore aside from providing an excellent education, the Banning CA program you enroll in should also provide the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for California or the State where you will be working.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It might also indicate that the school has a substantial network of Banning CA business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial aid offices for the Banning CA schools you are looking at and find out what kind of support they offer. A number of interior design colleges offer financial aid to their incoming students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide support in obtaining federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.

How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, 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 convenient from your Banning home, visit the college and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior design school you enroll in provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Banning CA, make certain 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, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.

Choose the Right Interior Designer School near Banning California

interior designed kitchen in Banning CaliforniaPicking the ideal interior designer college is a crucial initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and rewarding profession. Locating a college where you will receive your training and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a daunting task no matter what major you have selected. As with any undertaking to acquire an advanced education, there are many factors to think about before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the business. However it is still essential that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Banning California.