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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Bell CA

How to Enroll in the Best Interior Designer Program

Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Bell CA, it's time to begin 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 get the appropriate training to put your skills to work. And since several 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 essential that you do the proper research so that you can assess and compare each program that you are reviewing prior to making your final decision. But just where do you begin? Many prospective students will kick off their research by searching for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are relevant issues when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into consideration as well. We will cover those issues and other important questions that you must ask 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 choices are offered.

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Interior Design and Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Bell CA

Some people mistake interior design for interior decoration. The principal distinction between them is the level of training required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, conducting business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in many 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 various projects they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are two broad areas 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 essentially any area of the home, 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 frequently focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over looks as the main consideration.

There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, for example color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. They need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui concepts, Bell California interior designers implement a wide range of skills that help bring about their final designs.
 

Interior Designer Training Programs

There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to receive the training required to launch your new career in Bell CA. Your decision will undoubtedly be motivated by your career objectives in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in a number of states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum amount of training required to enter the field. They take about two years to finish and programs are available at numerous California trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that supply more comprehensive 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 college graduate in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced design training after acquiring a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices 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 programs are mostly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are usually completed in three to five years.

To work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be needed before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.

What to Ask Interior Design Colleges

Bell California interior designer bathroomOnce you have selected the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of reviewing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the campus must be within driving distance from your Bell CA residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will limit your options also. But selecting the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you should look at as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the program. Below are a list of questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are considering to get those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and ultimately choose the right degree program.

Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's important to confirm that the interior design program and college that you enroll in has earned accreditation from 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 earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding assessment of their programs and instructors. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are excellent, it may also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Bell California employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.

Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore besides providing an outstanding education, the Bell CA college you choose should also provide the proper instruction 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 School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will no doubt need some support in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, 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 students are in demand. It could also signify that the college has a substantial network of Bell CA business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Bell CA schools you are reviewing and ask what kind of assistance they offer. A number of interior design schools provide financial aid to their incoming students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.

How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Bell CA schools you are considering what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Bell home, visit the school and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior designer school you enroll in provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Bell CA, verify that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Enroll in the Best Interior Design College near Bell California

interior designed kitchen in Bell CaliforniaPicking the right interior designer program is an important initial step toward launching your career in this creative and gratifying profession. Finding a college where you will obtain your education and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a difficult job regardless of what field you have selected. As with any undertaking to receive an advanced education, there are many points to consider before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. But it is still important that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Bell California.