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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Carson CA

How to Select the Right Interior Designer Degree Program

Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design school 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 spaces, it's imperative that you receive the appropriate training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it's essential that you do the appropriate research in order to analyze and compare each program that you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate choice. But just where do you start? A number of future students will kick off their research by looking for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are relevant variables when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation must be considered as well. We will address those topics and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But before we do, 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 Decoration vs Interior Design

interior designed living room in Carson CA

Often people mistake interior design for interior decoration. The key distinction between them is the amount of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, doing business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or living areas attractive as well as functional. On various projects they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Carson CA can specialize in:

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

There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, including lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Carson California interior designers implement a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
 

Interior Design Degrees

There are 4 degree options available in interior design to obtain the training required to begin your new career in Carson CA. Your decision will no doubt be driven by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in a number of states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum amount of training required to enter the profession. They take about two years to finish and programs are available at many California vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can normally obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that provide more in depth 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 position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs supply advanced design training after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are primarily for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 years.

To work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be needed before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.

Why Study to Become an Interior Designer?

Carson 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 Design Schools

After you have decided on the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the task of reviewing your school options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the campus must be within driving distance from your Carson CA residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will limit your options also. But choosing the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to home are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you need to consider as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a few concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others to help you assess and subsequently pick the right degree program.

Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's important to verify that the interior designer program and college that you choose 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). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just confirm 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 establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are excellent, it might also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Carson California employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.

Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required also. So besides providing an exceptional education, the Carson CA program you enroll in should also provide the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for California or the State where you will be employed.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will no doubt need some support in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It could also indicate that the school has a sizable network of Carson CA business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Carson CA schools you are looking at and find out what type of aid they offer. A number of interior designer schools provide financial aid to their incoming students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships and others provide help in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from 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 attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior design college you choose offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you will 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 option as well. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Choose the Best Interior Design Program near Carson California

interior designed kitchen in Carson CaliforniaChoosing the ideal interior design school is an important initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and fulfilling profession. Finding a college where you will obtain your training and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a challenging job regardless of what field you have chosen. As with any endeavor to acquire a higher education, there are many points to think about before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the profession. However it is still imperative that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design schools so that you can make the right final selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Carson California.