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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Bell CA

How to Enroll in the Right Interior Design Degree Program

Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer degree program 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 receive the appropriate training to put your talents to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's crucial that you carry out the appropriate research in order to analyze and compare each program that you are looking at prior to making your final decision. But exactly where do you begin? Many potential students will start their research by looking for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are key factors when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation need to be considered as well. We will address those topics and other crucial questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But before we do, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class choices are available.

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Interior Design and Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Bell CA

Many people confuse interior design for interior decoration. The key difference between the two is the level of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, working as an interior designer requires formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or residential spaces attractive as well as functional. On many projects they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are two broad categories that an interior designer in Bell CA may specialize in:

  • Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any room of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers normally focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.

There are numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Bell California interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
 

Interior Designer Degree Programs

There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to acquire the training required to launch your new profession in Bell CA. Your choice will no doubt be motivated by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, be sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in several states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum amount of education needed to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to finish and programs are available at a number of California community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that furnish more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative aspects of the business required to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced design training after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide alternatives 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 their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are largely for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.

In order to work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be required before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.

What to Ask Interior Design Colleges

Bell California interior designer bathroomAfter you have selected the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the school must be within driving distance from your Bell CA home. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will limit your choices also. But selecting the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you need to consider also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a few concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are considering to get those answers in addition to others to help you examine and ultimately pick the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's important to verify that the interior designer program and school 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). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding assessment of their instructors and programs. Just confirm that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Bell California employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.

Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, 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) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States mandating licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore besides furnishing an exceptional education, the Bell CA program you select should also furnish the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for California or the State where you will be employed.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some help in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its students are sought after. It might also indicate that the school has a substantial network of Bell CA business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial aid offices for the Bell CA colleges you are evaluating and ask what kind of aid they provide. A number of interior design schools provide financial aid to their new students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships while others provide support in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Bell CA programs you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Bell home, go to the campus and monitor a couple of classes. While there talk 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 Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior designer program you choose provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only go to 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, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Choose the Best Interior Design College near Bell California

interior designed kitchen in Bell CaliforniaChoosing the right interior design program is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this creative and gratifying occupation. Finding a college where you will obtain your education and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting job regardless of what field you have decided on. As with any undertaking to acquire an advanced education, there are a number of things to think about before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the profession. However it is still imperative that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Bell California.