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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Bell CA

How to Pick the Right Interior Design School

Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design college near Bell CA, it's time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's important that you receive the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it's crucial that you carry out the proper research in order to assess and compare each program that you are looking at before you make your ultimate decision. But where do you start? Some prospective students will begin their research by looking for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are important variables when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into consideration also. We will cover those issues and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class alternatives are offered.

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Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design

interior designed living room in Bell CA

Many people mistake interior design for interior decoration. The principal distinction between them is the amount of training required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. However, working as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or living spaces functional as well as attractive. On many 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 Design. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any area of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public areas, designers frequently focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.

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

Interior Designer Degree Options

There are four degree options available in interior design to get the training required to start your new profession in Bell CA. Your selection will undoubtedly be influenced by your career objectives in addition to the money and time that you have to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in several states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum level of training required to enter the field. They take roughly 2 years to finish and programs are available at a number of California community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can normally obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that provide more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical aspects of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced design training after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialty majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are largely for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 years.

To work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be required before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.

Questions to Ask Interior Design Programs

Bell California interior designer bathroomNow that you have selected the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of assessing your school options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your Bell CA home. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will limit your choices also. But selecting the most affordable school or the one that is closest to your house are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you should consider as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are looking at to get those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and ultimately select the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the interior designer program and school that you enroll in has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding evaluation of their programs and teachers. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are outstanding, it might also help when obtaining 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 positions.

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

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will no doubt need some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It may also indicate that the school has a significant network of Bell CA business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Bell CA colleges you are reviewing and find out what kind of support they offer. A number of interior designer colleges offer financial aid to their incoming students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide support in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.

How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little 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 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 approaches are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior design school you choose provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Bell CA, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an option as well. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.

Enroll in the Best Interior Designer Program near Bell California

interior designed kitchen in Bell CaliforniaChoosing the right interior designer school is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and fulfilling occupation. Searching for a school where you will obtain your training and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a difficult job regardless of what field you have decided on. As with any endeavor to acquire a higher education, there are a number of factors to think about before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the business. However it is still important that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with quality training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Bell California.