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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Beaumont CA

How to Select the Best Interior Design College

Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer school near Beaumont CA, it's time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's essential that you receive the appropriate training to put your talents to work. And since some states do require 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 essential that you carry out the appropriate research so that you can evaluate and compare each college that you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection. But just where do you start? Many future students will kick off their research by searching 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. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation must be considered as well. We will address those topics and other crucial questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But before we do, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training choices are offered.

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Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Beaumont CA

Often people mistake interior design for interior decoration. The key distinction between them is the amount of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. However, 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 attractive as well as functional. On many occasions they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Beaumont CA may specialize in:

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

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

Interior Design Degree Options

There are four degree options offered in interior design to get the training required to launch your new profession in Beaumont CA. Your selection will no doubt be driven by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in a number of states. More will be discussed 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 education needed to enter the profession. They take approximately two years to complete and programs are available at many California community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can usually obtain entry level jobs 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 components of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential 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 design training after acquiring the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialized majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • 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 three to five years.

In order to work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be called for before a candidate can take the licensing examination.

Why Study to 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.

What to Ask Interior Design Programs

After you have chosen the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of assessing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the campus has to be within driving distance from your Beaumont CA home. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will limit your choices also. But selecting the most affordable school or the one that is nearest to home are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other things that you need to look at as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a few questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are looking at to get those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and ultimately select the right degree program.

Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's important 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 highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment of their programs and teachers. Just make sure that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are outstanding, it may also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Beaumont California employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.

Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do mandate 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 several of those States requiring licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required also. So in addition to providing an excellent education, the Beaumont CA program you select should also furnish the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing 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 design certification, you will probably want some help in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It might also indicate that the school has a large network of Beaumont CA business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Beaumont CA colleges you are evaluating and ask what kind of assistance they provide. Many of interior designer programs provide financial aid to their new students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in securing grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Beaumont CA schools you are reviewing what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Beaumont home, go to the school and attend a couple of classes. While there talk with a few students and find out 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 Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior design college you select provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Beaumont CA, make sure that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.

Choose the Best Interior Designer Program near Beaumont California

interior designed kitchen in Beaumont CaliforniaPicking the ideal interior designer program is an important initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and fulfilling occupation. Finding a school where you will receive your training and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a challenging task regardless of what field you have decided on. As with any undertaking to attain an advanced education, there are several 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 regarded in the field. But it is still essential that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design programs so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Beaumont California.