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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Beaumont CA

How to Find the Best Interior Designer Degree Program

Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design degree program near Beaumont CA, it's time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's important that you receive the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it's crucial that you do the proper research so that you can evaluate and compare each program that you are looking at prior to making your final selection. But exactly where do you start? Many prospective students will begin their research by looking for interior design courses near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are important issues when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into account also. We will address those issues and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class options are offered.

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Interior Design vs Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Beaumont CA

Some people confuse interior decoration for interior design. The primary difference between the two is the amount of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer requires formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make living or work spaces attractive as well as functional. On various occasions they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are two broad categories that an interior designer in Beaumont CA can specialize in:

  • Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any room of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Design. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers frequently focus predominantly 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 banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.

There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, for example color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Beaumont California interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
 

Interior Design Degree Programs

There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to obtain the training necessary to start your new profession in Beaumont CA. Your selection will no doubt be influenced by your career objectives in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in some states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum amount of training required to enter the field. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are offered at many California community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level positions 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 creative and technical aspects of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a college graduate 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 the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide alternatives in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mainly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 years.

In order to work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be needed before an applicant can take the licensing exam.

Why Become an Interior Designer?

Beaumont 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 Colleges

After you have chosen the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of analyzing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the school needs to be within commuting distance from your Beaumont CA residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will limit your choices also. But choosing the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to home are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you need to look at as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the program. Below are a few questions that you may want to ask the programs you are looking at to get those answers as well as others to help you assess and ultimately pick the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's important to make sure that the interior designer program and school that you select has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are outstanding, it may also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Beaumont California employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.

Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do require that interior designers become 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 calling for licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore in addition to furnishing an exceptional education, the Beaumont CA program you enroll in 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 employed.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some support in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its students are sought after. It could also indicate that the college has a significant network of Beaumont CA business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Beaumont CA colleges you are evaluating and ask what kind of aid they provide. A number of interior design colleges provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain schools offer partial scholarships and others provide help in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.

How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Beaumont CA schools you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Beaumont home, visit the college and sit in on a few 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 Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior designer school you choose offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Beaumont CA, confirm that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Enroll in the Right Interior Designer College near Beaumont California

interior designed kitchen in Beaumont CaliforniaChoosing the ideal interior design school is a critical first step toward launching your career in this creative and gratifying profession. Searching for a school where you will receive your training and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting job regardless of what field you have chosen. As with any endeavor to acquire a higher education, there are several points to consider before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, verify that the design college and program are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. But it is still imperative that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Beaumont California.