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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Bell CA

How to Select the Right Interior Designer Degree Program

Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design degree program near Bell CA, it's time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's imperative that you get the proper training to put your talents to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it's crucial that you carry out the appropriate research in order to evaluate and compare each program that you are considering before you make your ultimate choice. But just where do you start? Some potential students will begin their research by looking for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are key variables when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation 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 cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class options are offered.

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Interior Design and Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Bell CA

Some people confuse interior design for interior decoration. The key difference between the two is the amount of training required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make living or work areas attractive as well as functional. On some projects they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Bell CA may specialize in:

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

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

Interior Designer Degrees

There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to receive the training required to begin your new career in Bell CA. Your choice will no doubt be driven by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in a number of states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum level of education needed to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to finish 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 4 year programs that furnish more comprehensive 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 obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs supply advanced design training after achieving a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialized majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are largely for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are generally completed in 3 to 5 years.

In order to work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be called for before an applicant can take the licensing examination.

Online Interior Designer Colleges

Bell CA student attending interior design school onlineFor students who wish to study in the comfort of their Bell CA homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Attending classes online can be a good solution for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For a number of students online colleges may be the sole alternative if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Added expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the program you pick is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the discipline to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the right option for you.

Questions to Ask Interior Design Schools

When you have selected the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the task of assessing your college options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the school has to be within commuting distance from your Bell CA home. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will narrow down your options also. But selecting the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you should look at as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are looking at to obtain those answers as well as others to help you examine and ultimately select the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's necessary to make sure that the interior designer college and program that you select has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous assessment of their programs and instructors. Just confirm 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 college and the quality of the training are outstanding, it might also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Bell California employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.

Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States calling for licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to furnishing an excellent education, the Bell CA college you choose should also provide the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with 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 obtained your interior design 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, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It may also signify that the college has a large network of Bell CA business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial aid departments for the Bell CA schools you are evaluating and ask what type of assistance they provide. A number of interior designer colleges offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Some schools offer partial scholarships while others provide help in securing federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts 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 larger, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Bell CA programs you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Bell home, visit the school and sit in on a few classes. While there talk with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior designer college you choose provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Bell CA, verify that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, check that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.

Enroll in the Right Interior Design Program near Bell California

interior designed kitchen in Bell CaliforniaSelecting the right interior designer school is a critical initial step toward launching your career in this creative and gratifying occupation. Searching for a college where you will receive your education and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a daunting task regardless of what field you have chosen. As with any endeavor to acquire an advanced education, there are a number of things to consider before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the profession. However it is still imperative that you complete your due diligence research. 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 programs so that you can make the right final selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Bell California.