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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Beaumont CA

How to Pick the Best Interior Design School

Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer 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 commercial or residential spaces, it's important that you obtain the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's crucial that you perform the proper research so that you can assess and compare each college that you are looking at prior to making your ultimate choice. But exactly where do you begin? A number of potential students will kick off their research by looking for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are important issues when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into consideration as well. We will cover those issues and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are offered.

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Interior Decoration vs Interior Design

interior designed living room in Beaumont CA

Often people confuse interior design for interior decoration. The primary difference between the two is the amount of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. However, working as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or residential areas attractive as well as functional. On many occasions they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are two broad categories that an interior designer in Beaumont CA may specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any area 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 public or commercial areas, designers normally concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the main consideration.

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

Interior Design Training Programs

There are 4 degree options available in interior design to obtain the training needed to launch your new career in Beaumont CA. Your decision will no doubt be influenced by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in several states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum amount of training needed to enter the field. They take approximately two years to finish and programs are offered at a number of California trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can normally obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that furnish more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical aspects of the business needed to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs provide advanced training in design after achieving a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialized majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are mainly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.

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

Online Interior Design Colleges

Beaumont CA student attending interior design school onlineFor students who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Beaumont CA homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Studying online can be a good alternative for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For many students online schools may be the only option if no interior design schools are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Additional expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated also. Just make sure that the program you pick is accredited by a respected accrediting organization, 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 distance or online learning. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the perfect alternative for you.

Subjects to Ask Interior Design Colleges

Now that you have chosen the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of evaluating your school options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the campus must be within commuting distance from your Beaumont CA residence. Naturally if you have decided on attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will decrease your options as well. But selecting the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you need to look at as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a list of questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are considering to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you compare and subsequently choose the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's essential to confirm that the interior design program and school that you select has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding assessment of their teachers and programs. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Beaumont California employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.

Does the Program 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) exam as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore aside from furnishing an outstanding education, the Beaumont CA college you enroll in should also furnish the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for California or the State where you will be working.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will no doubt need some support in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its graduates are in demand. It might also signify that the school has a significant network of Beaumont CA business connections where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Beaumont CA colleges you are evaluating and find out what type of assistance they provide. A number of interior design programs offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide help in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Big are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Beaumont CA programs you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Beaumont home, visit the school and sit in on 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 styles are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior design school you enroll in provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you will 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 working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Enroll in the Right Interior Design School near Beaumont California

interior designed kitchen in Beaumont CaliforniaChoosing the ideal interior designer program is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this creative and gratifying occupation. Locating a college where you will receive your education and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a daunting task regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to receive an advanced education, there are many factors to think about before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. But it is still imperative that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design schools so that you can make the right final selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Beaumont California.