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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Bell CA

How to Enroll in the Right Interior Designer Degree Program

Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design college near Bell 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 spaces, it's important that you obtain the appropriate training to put your talents to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers become 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 appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each college that you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection. But just where do you begin? Many potential students will launch their research by looking for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are relevant variables when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into consideration also. We will cover those topics and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are reviewing 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 options are offered.

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Interior Decoration and Interior Design

interior designed living room in Bell CA

Many people confuse interior decoration for interior design. The primary difference 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 talent for decorating interior spaces. However, conducting business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or living spaces functional as well as attractive. On many occasions they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Bell CA can specialize in:

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

There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, for example color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui concepts, Bell California interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
 

Interior Design Degree Options

There are four degree options available in interior design to receive the training necessary to begin your new career in Bell CA. Your decision will undoubtedly be motivated by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, be sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in some states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum level of education required to enter the field. They take roughly 2 years to finish and programs are available at many California trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that supply more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with 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 position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs provide advanced design training after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer options in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are largely for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are generally completed in three to five years.

To work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be required before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.

Online Interior Designer Colleges

Bell CA student attending interior design school onlineFor individuals who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Bell CA homes, there are online accredited interior design schools. Studying online can be a great option for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For a number of students online programs may be the sole alternative if no interior design programs 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 study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated also. Just make certain that the college you enroll in is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the ideal alternative for you.

Subjects to Ask Interior Design Colleges

After you have decided on the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of reviewing your college options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the campus needs to be within driving distance from your Bell CA home. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will decrease your options as well. But picking the least expensive school or the one that is closest to home are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you need to look at also, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Below are a few questions that you may want to address with the schools you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and ultimately pick the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's necessary to make sure that the interior designer program and school that you select has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous 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 organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Bell California employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.

Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required also. Therefore besides providing an outstanding education, the Bell CA school you enroll in should also provide the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for California or the State where you will be working.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some support in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design field and its graduates are in demand. It could also indicate that the college has a significant network of Bell CA business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Available? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Bell CA colleges you are evaluating and ask what kind of aid they offer. Many of interior design colleges provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Bell CA programs you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Bell home, visit the college and sit in on a few classes. While there talk with a few 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 Available that Fit your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior designer school you choose offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Bell CA, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.

Enroll in the Best Interior Designer School near Bell California

interior designed kitchen in Bell CaliforniaSelecting the ideal interior design school is a critical first step toward starting your career in this artistic and fulfilling profession. Finding a school where you will receive your education and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult job no matter what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to receive a higher education, there are many things to think about before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. But it is still imperative that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design programs so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Bell California.