Home >> California >> Carson >> Interior Design Courses


Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Carson CA

How to Select the Best Interior Designer College

Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design degree program near Carson CA, it's time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's essential that you get the appropriate training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it's vital that you carry out the proper research in order to analyze and compare each college that you are reviewing before you make your final decision. But exactly where do you start? Many potential students will start their research by searching for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are key factors when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation should be considered also. We will address 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 talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are offered.

Start Your Interior Design Career By Requesting Free Info on Local Schools Below

Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design

interior designed living room in Carson CA

Many people confuse interior design for interior decoration. The principal distinction between the two is the level of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, working as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make living or work areas functional as well as attractive. On many occasions they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are two general areas that an interior designer in Carson CA can specialize in:

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

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

Interior Design Degree Programs

There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to get the training necessary to launch your new career in Carson CA. Your choice will no doubt be influenced by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, make sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in some states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum amount of training needed to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to complete and programs are offered at many California community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that supply more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative aspects of the trade 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 offer alternatives 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 their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are largely for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are generally completed in three to five years.

In order to work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required before an applicant can take the licensing examination.

Questions to Ask Interior Designer Programs

Carson California interior designer bathroomWhen you have selected the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the college needs to be within driving distance from your Carson CA home. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But selecting the cheapest college or the one that is closest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you need to consider also, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Below are a list of questions that you may want to ask the schools you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and ultimately select the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's imperative to verify that the interior designer program and college that you select has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive assessment of their programs and instructors. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college 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 requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Carson California employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.

Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do require that interior designers get 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 program. And in several of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required also. Therefore aside from furnishing an outstanding education, the Carson CA school you enroll in should also furnish the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination 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? After you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will probably need some help in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It might also indicate that the school has a large network of Carson CA business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Carson CA schools you are reviewing and find out what kind of support they offer. A number of interior designer programs provide financial assistance to their new students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide help in securing grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Carson CA schools you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Carson home, go to the campus and sit in on a couple of classes. While there speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior designer college you enroll in provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Carson CA, confirm that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Choose the Best Interior Designer College near Carson California

interior designed kitchen in Carson CaliforniaPicking the ideal interior designer school is an important first step toward launching your career in this creative and rewarding occupation. Locating a school where you will receive your training and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a difficult task regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to attain a higher education, there are a number of points to consider before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, make sure that the design college and program are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. However it is still important that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Carson California.