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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Beverly Hills CA

How to Find the Right Interior Design Program

Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer college near Beverly Hills CA, it's time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's important that you get the proper training to put your skills to work. And since some states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's essential that you do the proper research so that you can assess and compare each college that you are reviewing before you make your final selection. But exactly where do you start? Many future students will start their research by searching for interior design courses near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are key factors when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation need to be taken into account also. We will cover those issues and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at 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.

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Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design

interior designed living room in Beverly Hills CA

Many people confuse interior design for interior decoration. The principal difference between the two is the level of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. However, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make living or work spaces attractive as well as functional. On many projects they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Beverly Hills CA can specialize in:

  • Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Designing. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers normally concentrate predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.

There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. They must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Beverly Hills California interior designers implement a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
 

Interior Designer Degree Options

There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to acquire the training required to launch your new profession in Beverly Hills CA. Your choice will undoubtedly be driven by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam 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. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum level of education needed to enter the profession. They take about 2 years to finish and programs are offered at many California trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can usually obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that supply more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical facets of the business required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs supply advanced training in design after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mostly 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.

To work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be required before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.

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.

What to Ask Interior Design Programs

Now that you have selected the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of assessing your college options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the campus must be within driving distance from your Beverly Hills CA home. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will narrow down your options also. But selecting the cheapest college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you should look at as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a few questions that you may want to ask the programs you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others to help you examine and subsequently choose the right degree program.

Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's imperative to make sure that the interior designer program and college that you select 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). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding assessment of their teachers and programs. Just make sure that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when securing 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 positions.

Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required also. Therefore besides providing an exceptional education, the Beverly Hills CA college you choose should also furnish the suitable 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 School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will probably need some support in finding your first job. 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 a good indication that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It could also signify that the school has a large network of Beverly Hills CA business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial aid offices for the Beverly Hills CA colleges you are looking at and ask what type of aid they offer. A number of interior design programs provide financial aid to their new students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide support in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Beverly Hills CA colleges you are reviewing what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Beverly Hills home, go to the school and monitor a few classes. While there talk 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 Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior design program you select provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Beverly Hills CA, confirm that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Enroll in the Best Interior Designer College near Beverly Hills California

interior designed kitchen in Beverly Hills CaliforniaChoosing the right interior designer program is an important first step toward launching your career in this creative and fulfilling occupation. Searching for a college where you will receive your education and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a challenging task no matter what major you have selected. As with any undertaking to receive a higher education, there are many points to consider before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the design college and program are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. However it is still essential that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design schools so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Beverly Hills California.