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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Bell CA

How to Select the Best Interior Design Program

Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design 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 interiors, it's essential that you obtain the proper training to put your talents to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it's essential that you do the proper research so that you can assess and compare each program that you are considering prior to making your final selection. But exactly where do you start? Some prospective students will start their research by searching for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are relevant factors when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to be considered as well. We will discuss those issues and other crucial questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class choices are available.

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Interior Decoration vs Interior Design

interior designed living room in Bell CA

Often people confuse interior design for interior decoration. The primary difference between them is the level of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. However, conducting business as an interior designer requires formal training 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 living areas functional as well as attractive. On many occasions they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are two general categories 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 a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Designing. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers normally focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.

There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, including lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui concepts, Bell California interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final creations.
 

Interior Design Degree Programs

There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to acquire the training needed to start your new career in Bell CA. Your selection will undoubtedly be motivated by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But no matter 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 accreditation benefits later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum amount of training needed to enter the profession. They take about two years to complete and programs are available at many California trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can normally obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that supply more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical facets of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the minimum 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 provide advanced design training after acquiring the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mostly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are generally completed in three to five years.

To work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be called for before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.

Interior Designer Online Degree Programs

Bell CA student attending interior design school onlineFor those who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Bell CA homes, there are accredited online interior design colleges. Studying online can be a great alternative for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For a number of students online colleges may be the only alternative if no interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Additional expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make certain that the college you choose is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the ideal alternative for you.

Topics to Ask Interior Designer Colleges

After you have selected the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of evaluating your college options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the school has to be within driving distance from your Bell CA residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will narrow down your choices also. But selecting the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you should look at as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are looking at to get those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and ultimately choose the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's important to confirm that the interior designer college and program that you choose has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just verify 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 school and the quality of the education are outstanding, it may also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Bell California employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.

Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States calling for licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. So besides furnishing an outstanding education, the Bell CA program you choose should also furnish the proper training to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for California or the State where you will be working.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will probably want some support 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 high rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It might also indicate that the college has a substantial network of Bell CA business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Contact the financial aid departments for the Bell CA colleges you are evaluating and find out what kind of aid they offer. A number of interior design colleges offer financial assistance to their new students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide help in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Bell CA colleges you are considering what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Bell home, go to the campus and sit in on a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior designer school you select provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important 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 you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Choose the Right Interior Design Program near Bell California

interior designed kitchen in Bell CaliforniaPicking the right interior design college is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding occupation. Finding a college where you will obtain your education and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a daunting job regardless of what major you have decided on. As with any endeavor to receive an advanced education, there are a number of points to consider before choosing a school, program, or course. At a minimum, verify that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. But it is still essential that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design schools so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with quality training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Bell California.