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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Bellflower CA

How to Enroll in the Best Interior Design School

Now that 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 interiors, it's imperative that you obtain the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's very important that you carry out the appropriate research so that you can evaluate and compare each school that you are reviewing before you make your ultimate selection. But exactly where do you begin? Some prospective students will begin their research by looking for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are important variables when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into consideration as well. We will cover those issues and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But before we do, 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 Design and Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Bellflower CA

Often people confuse interior design for interior decoration. The principal distinction between them is the amount of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, conducting business 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 living areas functional as well as attractive. On various occasions they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Bellflower CA can specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any room of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial areas, designers often focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may focus more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.

There are numerous areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, including lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. They have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui principles, Bellflower California interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final designs.
 

Interior Designer Degree Options

There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to receive the training required to start your new profession in Bellflower CA. Your choice 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 certain to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in some states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum amount of training required to enter the profession. They take approximately two years to complete and programs are offered at numerous California vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can typically obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical components of the business required to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced training in design after acquiring a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide alternatives in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees 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 typically completed in 3 to 5 years.

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

Why Train to Become an Interior Designer?

Bellflower 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.

Subjects to Ask Interior Design Colleges

Now that you have selected the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of analyzing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the college needs to be within driving distance from your Bellflower CA home. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will narrow down your options also. But selecting the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you need to look at also, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a list of questions that you may want to ask the schools you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others to help you compare and ultimately pick the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's essential to confirm that the interior designer program and college that you enroll in has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive assessment of their programs and instructors. Just make sure 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 establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are excellent, it might also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Bellflower California employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.

Does the College Ready 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) examination as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required also. Therefore aside from providing an exceptional education, the Bellflower CA school you enroll in should also provide the proper training to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for California or the State where you will be working.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some help in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its graduates are in demand. It could also indicate that the college has a large network of Bellflower CA business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Available? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Bellflower CA colleges you are reviewing and ask what kind of support they offer. A number of interior design colleges offer financial aid to their new students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide help in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.

How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Bellflower CA schools 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 philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior designer program you select provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Bellflower CA, verify that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.

Choose the Best Interior Design College near Bellflower California

interior designed kitchen in Bellflower CaliforniaChoosing the ideal interior design school is a crucial first step toward starting your career in this artistic and fulfilling profession. Searching for a school where you will receive your training and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult job no matter what major you have decided on. As with any undertaking to acquire a higher education, there are many factors to consider before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, verify that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. However it is still essential that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design colleges 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.