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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Beaumont CA

How to Choose the Best Interior Design Degree Program

Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design school near Beaumont CA, it's time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's essential that you receive the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers be 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 evaluate and compare each school that you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection. But where do you begin? Some future students will start their research by looking for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are important issues when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into account also. We will cover those topics 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 training options are available.

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Interior Decoration vs Interior Design

interior designed living room in Beaumont CA

Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design. The key distinction between them is the amount of education required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, working as an interior designer requires formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or living spaces functional as well as attractive. On some projects they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are two broad areas that an interior designer in Beaumont CA can specialize in:

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

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

Interior Design Degrees

There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to receive the training necessary to launch your new career in Beaumont CA. Your selection will undoubtedly be influenced 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 select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated 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 furnish the minimum level of education needed to enter the field. They take approximately 2 years to complete and programs are available at numerous California community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can normally obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical components 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 supply advanced design training after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives in specialized 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. Doctoral degrees are largely for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are generally 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 schools become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be called for before a candidate can take the licensing examination.

Interior Designer Online Colleges

Beaumont CA student attending interior design school onlineFor students who wish to study in the comfort of their Beaumont CA homes, there are accredited online interior design degrees. Studying online can be an excellent option for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For some students online colleges may be the sole alternative if no interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Additional costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the school you select is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the dedication to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the right option for you.

What to Ask Interior Designer Colleges

Once you have chosen the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of reviewing your school options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the campus must be within driving distance from your Beaumont CA home. Obviously if you have decided on attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will decrease your choices also. But choosing the cheapest school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other things that you need to consider as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are considering to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you compare and subsequently select the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's imperative to make sure that the interior design school and program that you select has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just make sure that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are outstanding, it might also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Beaumont California employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.

Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States calling for licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore aside from providing an excellent education, the Beaumont CA college you enroll in should also furnish the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for California or the State where you will be employed.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some support in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It may also signify that the school has a significant network of Beaumont CA business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial aid offices for the Beaumont CA colleges you are reviewing and find out what type of assistance they offer. Many of interior design colleges provide financial aid to their new students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide help in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Big are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Beaumont CA programs you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Beaumont home, visit the campus and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior designer college you enroll in offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Beaumont CA, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.

Choose the Best Interior Design School near Beaumont California

interior designed kitchen in Beaumont CaliforniaPicking the ideal interior designer college is an important initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and rewarding occupation. Searching for a college where you will obtain your education and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a difficult job regardless of what field you have selected. As with any endeavor to attain a higher education, there are several points to think about before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, verify that the design college and program are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. However it is still essential that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Beaumont California.