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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Bellflower CA

How to Enroll in the Best Interior Designer Course

Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Bellflower CA, it's time to start 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 obtain the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it's vital that you perform the appropriate research in order to assess and compare each college that you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate choice. But just where do you start? Many potential students will kick off their research by searching for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are key issues when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation must be taken into consideration also. We will discuss those topics and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But first, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class options are offered.

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Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Bellflower CA

Some people confuse interior decoration for interior design. The primary distinction between them is the amount of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, working as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or residential spaces functional as well as attractive. On various projects they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Bellflower CA may specialize in:

  • Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently 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 may specialize in designing one specific room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers normally focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary concern.

There are several 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 selecting wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui concepts, Bellflower California interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final creations.
 

Interior Designer Degrees

There are four degree options available in interior design to obtain the training needed to launch your new career in Bellflower CA. Your decision will undoubtedly be driven by your career objectives as well as the money and time that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make certain to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in a number of states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum amount of training required to enter the profession. They take about two years to finish and programs are offered at many California community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can usually obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative components of the business required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced training in design after acquiring the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are largely for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.

In order to work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be called for before a candidate can take the licensing exam.

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.

What to Ask Interior Design Programs

When you have chosen the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of reviewing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the school needs to be within driving distance from your Bellflower CA home. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will narrow down your options also. But choosing the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you need to consider as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a few concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others to help you examine and subsequently pick the right degree program.

Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's important to verify that the interior designer program and school that you select 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). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment of their teachers and programs. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are outstanding, it might also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Bellflower California employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.

Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States mandating licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore besides furnishing an exceptional education, the Bellflower CA school you choose should also furnish the appropriate education 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 attained your interior designer certification, you will probably want some help in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are considering 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 regard 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 employment after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Bellflower CA schools you are reviewing and find out what kind of assistance they offer. A number of interior designer schools offer financial aid to their incoming students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships and others provide support in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed 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 actually be less expensive than its counterparts 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 large, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Bellflower CA programs you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Bellflower home, go to the campus and sit in on a few classes. While there talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior designer program you enroll in provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Bellflower CA, make sure that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Enroll in the Best Interior Designer Program near Bellflower California

interior designed kitchen in Bellflower CaliforniaSelecting the ideal interior designer program is an important first step toward starting your career in this creative and fulfilling profession. Searching for a college where you will obtain your education and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a daunting job no matter what field you have chosen. As with any undertaking to acquire an advanced education, there are several factors to consider before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. But it is still essential that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design programs so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Bellflower California.