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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Carson CA

How to Enroll in the Best Interior Designer College

Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design degree program near Carson CA, it's time to start 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 get 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 crucial that you do the appropriate research so that you can evaluate and compare each school that you are reviewing before you make your ultimate choice. But just where do you begin? A number of prospective students will begin their research by searching for interior design courses near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are relevant variables when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation must be considered as well. 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 choices are offered.

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Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design

interior designed living room in Carson CA

Often people confuse interior design for interior decoration. The principal distinction between them is the amount of education required. Any person can do business 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 a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make living or work spaces functional as well as attractive. On various projects they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are two broad categories that an interior designer in Carson CA may specialize in:

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

There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, such as lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers need to 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, Carson California interior designers employ a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
 

Interior Design Degrees

There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to acquire the training necessary to launch your new profession in Carson CA. Your choice will undoubtedly be motivated by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make certain to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in a number of states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum level of education required to enter the profession. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are offered at numerous California vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that provide more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical facets of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree 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 attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer options in specialized majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are mostly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are typically completed in three to five years.

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

Online Interior Designer Classes

Carson CA student attending interior design school onlineFor students who wish to study in the convenience of their Carson CA homes, there are accredited online interior design programs. Attending classes online can be an excellent alternative for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For a number of students online colleges may be the only alternative if no interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the program you pick is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the perfect option for you.

Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Programs

After you have chosen the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the task of reviewing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your Carson CA residence. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will narrow down your options as well. But choosing the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you should look at as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a few concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are looking at to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and subsequently pick the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's necessary to make sure that the interior design program and school that you enroll in has been accredited by either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous assessment of their teachers and programs. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Carson California employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.

Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore in addition to providing an outstanding education, the Carson CA college you enroll in should also provide the proper education to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements 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 no doubt want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its students are sought after. It might also indicate that the school has a significant network of Carson CA business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Carson CA schools you are reviewing and ask what kind of assistance they provide. Many of interior design schools provide financial assistance to their new students. Some schools provide partial scholarships while others provide help in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Carson CA schools you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Carson home, go to the college and monitor a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior designer school you choose offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Carson CA, make certain that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Choose the Best Interior Designer Program near Carson California

interior designed kitchen in Carson CaliforniaSelecting the ideal interior designer school is a crucial initial step toward starting your career in this creative and fulfilling occupation. Searching for a college where you will obtain your training and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult job no matter what field you have selected. As with any undertaking to acquire an advanced education, there are several factors to consider before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, make sure that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the profession. But it is still essential that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design programs so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Carson California.