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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Beverly Hills CA

How to Enroll in the Right Interior Designer Degree Program

Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design school near Beverly Hills CA, it's time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's essential that you obtain the right training to put your talents to work. And since several states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it's essential that you carry out the appropriate research so that you can analyze and compare each program that you are considering prior to making your final decision. But just where do you start? Many prospective students will launch their research by searching for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are relevant factors when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into account also. We will discuss those issues and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class alternatives are available.

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Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design

interior designed living room in Beverly Hills CA

Often people mistake interior design for interior decoration. The primary difference between them is the level of education required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they possess a basic 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 Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or residential areas functional as well as attractive. On many projects they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Beverly Hills CA can specialize in:

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

There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, including color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui principles, Beverly Hills California interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
 

Interior Design Degrees

There are four degree options offered in interior design to obtain the training necessary to begin your new career in Beverly Hills CA. Your choice will no doubt be influenced by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in several states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief descriptions 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 roughly two years to finish and programs are offered at many California community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that supply more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative facets of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a graduating student 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 attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialty majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are primarily for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are usually completed in three to five years.

In order to work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be required before an applicant can take the licensing exam.

Why Train to Become an Interior Designer?

Beverly Hills 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.

Topics to Ask Interior Designer Schools

Once you have decided on the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of assessing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your Beverly Hills CA residence. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will narrow down your options as well. But selecting the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to home are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you should consider as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a few concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and ultimately select the right degree program.

Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's important to make sure that the interior design school and program that you enroll in has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous 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 organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Beverly Hills California employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.

Does the College 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) examination as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States calling for licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore besides providing an excellent education, the Beverly Hills CA school you select should also furnish the proper training to pass the NCIDQ exam 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? Once you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some help in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job placement 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 profession and its students are sought after. It may also signify that the college has a sizable network of Beverly Hills CA business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Available? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Beverly Hills CA schools you are evaluating and ask what type of support they provide. Many of interior design programs offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Various schools offer partial scholarships and others provide support in obtaining federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Beverly Hills CA programs you are considering what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Beverly Hills home, visit the college and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few 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 Fit your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior designer college you choose provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Beverly Hills CA, make certain that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an option as well. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Choose the Best Interior Designer College near Beverly Hills California

interior designed kitchen in Beverly Hills CaliforniaChoosing the right interior designer college is a crucial initial step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding profession. Finding a college where you will obtain your training and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a difficult job regardless of what field you have selected. As with any endeavor to attain a higher education, there are several factors to think about before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. However it is still imperative that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Beverly Hills California.