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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Bell CA

How to Find the Right Interior Design School

Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer college near Bell CA, it's time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's essential that you obtain the appropriate training to put your skills to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it's essential that you perform the proper research so that you can analyze and compare each program that you are considering prior to making your ultimate choice. But just where do you start? Some prospective students will launch their research by looking for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are key variables when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation should be considered also. We will discuss those topics and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class options are available.

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Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design

interior designed living room in Bell CA

Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design. The principal difference between them is the amount of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, working as an interior designer necessitates 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 educated to make work or residential spaces attractive as well as functional. On many occasions they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are two general areas that an interior designer in Bell CA may specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any area of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public areas, designers often concentrate 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 emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the main concern.

There are numerous areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui principles, Bell California interior designers implement a wide range of skills that contribute to their final creations.
 

Interior Designer Degree Programs

There are four degree options offered in interior design to acquire the training needed to start your new career in Bell CA. Your choice will no doubt be driven by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make certain to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated 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 benefits of accreditation 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 profession. They take about two years to finish and programs are available at numerous California vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that provide more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative aspects of the business required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced design training after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialty majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are mainly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary in length but are generally completed in three to five years.

In order to work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be called for before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.

Why Train to Become an Interior Designer?

Bell 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.

Topics to Ask Interior Design Programs

Once you have decided on the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of evaluating your college options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the college must be within driving distance from your Bell CA residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will limit your choices as well. But selecting the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you should consider as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a few concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are looking at to obtain those answers as well as others to help you compare and ultimately pick the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's necessary to make sure that the interior designer program and school 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). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment of their teachers and programs. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are excellent, it might also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Bell California employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.

Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States calling for licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore aside from providing an exceptional education, the Bell CA college you choose should also provide the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for California or the State where you will be employed.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It may also indicate that the college has a substantial network of Bell CA business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial aid departments for the Bell CA colleges you are looking at and find out what kind of aid they provide. A number of interior design colleges provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain schools offer partial scholarships while others provide support in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Bell CA colleges you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Bell home, go to the campus and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior designer program you enroll in offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Bell CA, make sure that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.

Choose the Right Interior Design College near Bell California

interior designed kitchen in Bell CaliforniaChoosing the right interior design college is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and gratifying occupation. Searching for a school where you will obtain your training and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a daunting job regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any undertaking to attain a higher education, there are a number of points to consider before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the field. However it is still important that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design schools so that you can make the right final selection. And with quality training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Bell California.