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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Bell CA

How to Enroll in the Right Interior Designer Program

Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design degree program near Bell CA, it's time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's important that you obtain the right 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 could need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's very important that you perform the appropriate research so that you can evaluate and compare each program that you are considering before you make your ultimate decision. But exactly where do you begin? Many future students will kick off their research by searching for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are relevant factors when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into account also. We will discuss those issues and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But before we do, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training choices are offered.

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Interior Decoration and Interior Design

interior designed living room in Bell CA

Some people mistake interior design for interior decoration. The main difference between them is the level of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. 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 as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or living areas functional as well as attractive. On various occasions they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Bell CA may specialize in:

  • Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any room of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers often concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over looks as the main consideration.

There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. 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 concepts, Bell California interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
 

Interior Design Degrees

There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to get the training needed to start your new career in Bell CA. Your decision will no doubt be driven by your career objectives as well as the money and time that you have to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in some states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum amount of training required to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to complete and programs are available at a number of California community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can typically obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that supply more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative aspects of the business required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced design training after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialized majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are primarily 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 3 to 5 years.

In order to work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be needed before a candidate can take 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.

What to Ask Interior Designer Programs

After you have selected the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the task of evaluating your school options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the campus needs to be within driving distance from your Bell CA home. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will limit your options also. But picking the cheapest school or the one that is closest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you need to look at also, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a few questions that you may want to ask the schools you are considering to get those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and subsequently pick the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's imperative to confirm that the interior design program and college that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just make sure that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are outstanding, it might also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Bell California employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.

Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of 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, a minimum of 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to furnishing an exceptional education, the Bell CA college you choose should also furnish the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for California or the State where you will be working.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will probably want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It might also indicate that the college has a significant network of Bell CA business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial aid departments for the Bell CA colleges you are looking at and ask what type of assistance they provide. A number of interior design schools provide financial assistance to their new students. Various schools offer partial scholarships while others provide assistance in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Bell CA programs you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Bell home, go to the school and monitor a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior design school you choose provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Bell CA, verify 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, family or illness.

Enroll in the Best Interior Designer School near Bell California

interior designed kitchen in Bell CaliforniaSelecting the right interior designer college is an important first step toward launching your career in this artistic and rewarding profession. Finding a college where you will receive your training and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a daunting task no matter what field you have decided on. As with any endeavor to acquire an advanced education, there are many points to consider before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, verify that the design college and program are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. However it is still imperative that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Bell California.