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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Bellflower CA

How to Find the Right Interior Designer Course

Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design school near Bellflower CA, it's time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's important that you get the appropriate training to put your skills to work. And since several states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's essential that you perform the appropriate research in order to analyze and compare each college that you are considering prior to making your ultimate choice. But where do you start? Some future students will begin their research by looking for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are relevant variables when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation need to be taken into consideration also. We will discuss those topics and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are available.

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Interior Decoration and Interior Design

interior designed living room in Bellflower CA

Some people mistake interior decoration for interior design. The principal difference between the two is the level of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, working as an interior designer requires formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or residential spaces attractive as well as functional. On various occasions they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are two broad categories that an interior designer in Bellflower CA may specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers often 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 may specialize in designing one specific room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers normally focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.

There are numerous areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, including 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 choosing carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Bellflower California interior designers implement a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
 

Interior Designer Training Programs

There are four degree options available in interior design to receive the training required to launch your new career in Bellflower CA. Your decision will no doubt be motivated by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, make sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in several states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum level of education required to enter the field. They take roughly two years to complete and programs are offered at many California vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can typically obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that deliver more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical components of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced design training after achieving a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are largely for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 years.

To work as a professional and adopt 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 professional experience may be called for before a candidate can take the licensing examination.

Questions to Ask Interior Design Colleges

Bellflower California interior designer bathroomWhen you have selected the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of analyzing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the campus must be within commuting distance from your Bellflower CA residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But choosing the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to home are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you should consider as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a few questions that you may want to address with the programs you are considering to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you examine and subsequently choose the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's imperative to make sure that the interior designer program and school that you enroll in has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just confirm 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 education are exceptional, it might also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Bellflower California employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.

Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required also. So in addition to furnishing an exceptional education, the Bellflower CA program you choose should also provide the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill 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 earned your interior design certification, you will probably want some support in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design field and its students are sought after. It could also signify that the school has a large network of Bellflower CA business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Available? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Bellflower CA colleges you are evaluating and find out what type of support they offer. Many of interior design programs offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Various schools offer partial scholarships while others provide help in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.

How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Bellflower CA programs you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Bellflower home, go to the school and monitor a few classes. While there speak with some 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 Fit your Schedule? Finally, make certain 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 attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Bellflower CA, verify that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Enroll in the Right Interior Design College near Bellflower California

interior designed kitchen in Bellflower CaliforniaPicking the ideal interior design college is an important first step toward launching your career in this creative and rewarding occupation. Locating a school where you will obtain your training and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a daunting job no matter what major you have decided on. As with any endeavor to attain an advanced education, there are many points to think about 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 profession. However it is still important that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design programs so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Bellflower California.