Home >> California >> Bellflower >> Interior Design Classes


Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Bellflower CA

How to Pick the Best Interior Design School

Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near Bellflower CA, it's time to begin the process of selecting 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 require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's essential that you perform the appropriate research in order to evaluate and compare each college that you are reviewing before you make your final choice. But just where do you begin? Many future students will kick off their research by searching for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are important factors when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into account also. We will cover those topics and other crucial questions that you must ask 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 choices are offered.

Start Your Interior Design Career By Requesting Free Info on Local Schools Below

Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design

interior designed living room in Bellflower CA

Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design. The key difference between the two is the amount of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. However, doing business as an interior designer necessitates 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 living or work spaces functional as well as attractive. On many occasions they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are two broad categories that an interior designer in Bellflower CA may specialize in:

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

There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, for example color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui principles, Bellflower California interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
 

Interior Designer Degrees

There are 4 degree options available in interior design to acquire the training needed to start your new career in Bellflower CA. Your choice will undoubtedly be influenced by your career objectives in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in a number of states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum amount of education needed to enter the field. They take approximately two years to complete and programs are available at a number of California trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that furnish more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative components of the trade 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 two year programs provide advanced training in design after acquiring a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer choices in specialty majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are primarily for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are generally completed in three to five years.

To work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be needed before an applicant can take the licensing exam.

Interior Design Online Degree Programs

Bellflower CA student attending interior design school onlineFor students who wish to study in the convenience of their Bellflower CA homes, there are online accredited interior design degrees. Attending classes online can be a good alternative for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For a number of students online programs may be the sole option if no interior design schools are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Additional costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the program you select is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the dedication to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the right option for you.

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 assessing your college options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the school needs to be within commuting distance from your Bellflower CA residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will narrow down your choices also. But selecting the most affordable school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other things that you need to consider also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a few questions that you may want to ask the programs you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others to help you assess and ultimately choose the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's important to verify that the interior designer school and program that you select has been accredited by either a national or regional 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 instructors. Just confirm 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 training are excellent, it may also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Bellflower California employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.

Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do require that interior designers become 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 college. And in several of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required as well. So besides furnishing an exceptional education, the Bellflower CA school you select should also furnish the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for California or the State where you will be employed.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will no doubt need some help in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its students are sought after. It might also indicate that the school has a substantial network of Bellflower CA business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Bellflower CA colleges you are reviewing and find out what type of aid they offer. Many of interior design programs offer financial aid to their incoming students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide support in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller 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 Bellflower CA colleges you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Bellflower home, visit the school and attend a couple of 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 credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior design school you choose offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Bellflower CA, verify that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.

Choose the Right Interior Designer School near Bellflower California

interior designed kitchen in Bellflower CaliforniaSelecting the right interior design program is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and rewarding profession. Locating a college where you will obtain your education and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting task no matter what major you have selected. As with any undertaking to attain an advanced education, there are several factors to consider before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the field. But it is still essential that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Bellflower California.