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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Beaumont CA

How to Find the Right Interior Design 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 choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's essential that you get the appropriate training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's crucial that you perform the proper research in order to assess and compare each school that you are considering prior to making your final decision. But exactly where do you start? Many prospective students will begin their research by searching for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are important variables when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into account as well. We will cover those topics and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are interested in 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 Decoration vs Interior Design

interior designed living room in Beaumont CA

Some people mistake interior design for interior decoration. The key difference between them is the amount of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, working as an interior designer requires a formal education and in a number of 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 many projects they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Beaumont CA may specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers typically 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 can specialize in designing one particular room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers often concentrate predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For example, 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 primary consideration.

There are numerous areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, such as lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui principles, Beaumont California interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final designs.
 

Interior Design Degree Options

There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to get the training necessary to begin your new profession in Beaumont CA. Your decision will undoubtedly be motivated 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 decide to enroll in, make sure to select 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. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum amount of education required to enter the field. They take approximately two years to finish and programs are available at numerous California community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that supply more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative aspects of the business required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced training in design after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialty majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are primarily for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are typically completed in three to five years.

In order to work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be called for before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.

Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Programs

Beaumont California interior designer bathroomAfter you have chosen the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of reviewing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the campus needs to be within commuting distance from your Beaumont CA home. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will decrease your choices as well. But choosing the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you should consider also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a list of questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are looking at to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and subsequently select the right degree program.

Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's essential to confirm that the interior design program and college that you choose has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most respected in the field 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 instructors and programs. Just verify 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 establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are excellent, it may also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Beaumont California employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.

Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some 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 program. And in several of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore besides providing an exceptional education, the Beaumont CA program you choose should also provide the proper education to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for California or the State where you will be employed.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It may also indicate that the college has a significant network of Beaumont CA business connections where they can place students to secure internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Contact the financial aid offices for the Beaumont CA colleges you are reviewing and find out what type of aid they provide. Many of interior design schools provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide support in securing federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Beaumont CA schools you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Beaumont home, go to the school and attend a couple of classes. While there speak with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior design college you choose provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Beaumont CA, make sure that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, verify 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 College near Beaumont California

interior designed kitchen in Beaumont CaliforniaPicking the right interior designer college is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this creative and fulfilling profession. Locating a school where you will obtain your training and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a challenging task no matter what field you have decided on. As with any endeavor to attain an advanced education, there are many factors to consider before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, confirm that the design college and program are both accredited and highly esteemed in the business. But it is still important that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Beaumont California.